Posts tagged education.

ylimenospmoht:

expose-the-light:

Ten things you may not know about stars
10) Every star you see in the night sky is bigger and brighter than our Sun Of the 5,000 or so stars brighter than magnitude 6, only a handful of very faint stars are approximately the same size and brightness of our Sun and the rest are all bigger and brighter. Of the 500 or so that are brighter than 4th magnitude (which includes essentially every star visible to the unaided eye from a urban location), all are intrinsically bigger and brighter than our Sun, many by a large percentage. Of the brightest 50 stars visible to the human eye from Earth, the least intrinsically bright is Alpha Centauri, which is still more than 1.5 times more luminous than our Sun, and cannot be easily seen from most of the Northern Hemisphere.
9) You can’t see millions of stars on a dark night Despite what you may hear in TV commercials, poems and songs, you cannot see a million stars … anywhere. There simply are not enough close enough and bright enough. On a really exceptional night, with no Moon and far from any source of lights, a person with very good eyesight may be able to see 2000-2500 stars at any one time. (Counting even this small number still would be difficult.). So the next time you hear someone claim to have seen a million stars in the sky, just appreciate it as artistic license or exuberant exaggeration – because it isn’t true!
8) Red hot and cool ice blue – NOT! We are accustomed to referring to things that are red as hot and those that are blue as cool. This is not entirely unreasonable, since a red, glowing fireplace poker is hot and ice, especially in glaciers and polar regions, can have a bluish cast. But we say that only because our everyday experience is limited. In fact, heated objects change color as their temperature changes, and red represents the lowest temperature at which a heated object can glow in visible light. As it gets hotter, the color changes to white and ultimately to blue. So the red stars you see in the sky are the “coolest” (least hot), and the blue stars are the hottest!
7) Stars are black bodies A black body is an object that absorbs 100 percent of all electromagnetic radiation (that is, light, radio waves and so on) that falls on it. A common image here is that of a brick oven with the interior painted black and the only opening a small window. All light that shines through the window is absorbed by the interior of the oven and none is reflected outside the oven. It is a perfect absorber. As it turns out, this definition of being perfect absorbers suits stars very well! However, this just says that a blackbody absorbs all the radiant energy that hits it, but does not forbid it from re-emitting the energy. In the case of a star, it absorbs all radiation that falls on it, but it also radiates back into space much more than it absorbs. Thus a star is a black body that glows with great brilliance! (An even more perfect black body is a black hole, but of course, it appears truly black, and radiates no light.)
6) There are no green stars Although there are scattered claims for stars that appear green, including Beta Librae (Zuben Eschamali), most observers do not see green in any stars except as an optical effect from their telescopes, or else an idiosyncratic quirk of personal vision and contrast. Stars emit a spectrum (“rainbow”) of colors, including green, but the human eye-brain connection mixes the colors together in a manner that rarely if ever comes out green. One color can dominate the radiation, but within the range of wavelengths and intensities found in stars, greens get mixed with other colors, and the star appears white. For stars, the general colors are, from lower to higher temperatures, red, orange, yellow, white and blue. So as far as the human eye can tell, there are no green stars.
5) The Sun is a green star That being said, the Sun is a “green” star, or more specifically, a green-blue star, whose peak wavelength lies clearly in the transition area on the spectrum between blue and green.  This is not just an idle fact, but is important because the temperature of a star is related to the color of its most predominate wavelength of emission. (Whew!) In the Sun’s case, the surface temperature is about 5,800 K, or 500 nanometers, a green-blue. However, as indicated above, when the human eye factors in the other colors around it, the Sun’s apparent color comes out a white or even a yellowish white.
4) The Sun is a “dwarf” star We are accustomed to think of the Sun as a “normal” star, and in many respects, it is. But did you know that it is a “dwarf” star? You may have heard of a “white dwarf,” but that is not a regular star at all, but the corpse of a dead star. Technically, as far as “normal” stars go (that is, astronomical objects that produce their own energy through sustained and stable hydrogen fusion), there are only “dwarfs,” “giants” and “supergiants.” The giants and supergiants represent the terminal (old age) stages of stars, but the vast majority of stars, those in the long, mature stage of evolution (Main Sequence) are all called “dwarfs.” There is quite a bit of range in size here, but they are all much smaller than the giants and supergiants. So technically, the Sun is a dwarf star, sometimes called “Yellow Dwarf” in contradiction to the entry above!
3) Stars don’t twinkle Stars appear to twinkle (“scintillate”), especially when they are near the horizon. One star, Sirius, twinkles, sparkles and flashes so much some times that people actually report it as a UFO. But in fact, the twinkling is not a property of the stars, but of Earth’s turbulent atmosphere. As the light from a star passes through the atmosphere, especially when the star appears near the horizon, it must pass through many layers of often rapidly differing density. This has the effect of deflecting the light slightly as it were a ball in a pinball machine. The light eventually gets to your eyes, but every deflection causes it to change slightly in color and intensity. The result is “twinkling.” Above the Earth’s atmosphere, stars do not twinkle.
2) You can see 20 quadrillion miles, at least On a good night, you can see about 19,000,000,000,000,000 miles, easily. That’s 19 quadrillion miles, the approximate distance to the bright star Deneb in Cygnus. which is prominent in the evening skies of Fall and Winter. Deneb is bright enough to be seen virtually anywhere in the Northern hemisphere, and in fact from almost anywhere in the inhabited world. There is another star, Eta Carina, that is a little more than twice as far away, or about 44 quadrillion miles. But Eta Carina is faint, and not well placed for observers in most of the Northern hemisphere. Those are stars, but both the Andromeda Galaxy and the Triangulum Galaxy are also visible under certain conditions, and are roughly 15 and 18 quintillion miles away! (One quintillion is 10^18!)
1) Black holes don’t “suck” Many writers frequently describe black holes as “sucking” in everything around them. And it is a common worry among the ill-informed that the so-far hypothetical “mini” black holes that may be produced by the Large Hadron Collider would suck in everything around them in an ever increasing vortex that would consume the Earth! “Say it ain’t so, Joe!” Well, I am not Shoeless Joe Jackson, but it ain’t so. In the case of the LHC, it isn’t true for a number of reasons, but black holes in general do not “suck.”
This not just a semantic distinction, but one of process and consequence as well. The word “suck” via suction, as in the way vacuum cleaners work, is not how black holes attract matter. In a vacuum cleaner, the fan produces a partial vacuum (really, just a slightly lower pressure) at the floor end of the vacuum, and regular air pressure outside, being greater, pushes the air into it, carrying along loose dirt and dust.
In the case of black holes, there is no suction involved. Instead, matter is pulled into the black hole by a very strong gravitational attraction. In one way of visualizing it, it really is a bit like falling into a hole, but not like being hoovered into it. Gravity is a fundamental force of Nature, and all matter has it. When something is pulled into a black hole, the process is more like being pulled into like a fish being reeled in by an angler, rather than being pushed along like a rafter inexorably being dragged over a waterfall.
The difference may seem trivial, but from a physical standpoint it is fundamental.
So black holes don’t suck, but they are very cool. Actually, they are cold. Very, very cold. But that’s a story for another time.

Going to have to start saying “blue hot” and “red cool” from now on. I already knew that, but it’s a change I’m going to implement soon! 

ylimenospmoht:

expose-the-light:

Ten things you may not know about stars

10) Every star you see in the night sky is bigger and brighter than our Sun
Of the 5,000 or so stars brighter than magnitude 6, only a handful of very faint stars are approximately the same size and brightness of our Sun and the rest are all bigger and brighter. Of the 500 or so that are brighter than 4th magnitude (which includes essentially every star visible to the unaided eye from a urban location), all are intrinsically bigger and brighter than our Sun, many by a large percentage. Of the brightest 50 stars visible to the human eye from Earth, the least intrinsically bright is Alpha Centauri, which is still more than 1.5 times more luminous than our Sun, and cannot be easily seen from most of the Northern Hemisphere.

9) You can’t see millions of stars on a dark night
Despite what you may hear in TV commercials, poems and songs, you cannot see a million stars … anywhere. There simply are not enough close enough and bright enough. On a really exceptional night, with no Moon and far from any source of lights, a person with very good eyesight may be able to see 2000-2500 stars at any one time. (Counting even this small number still would be difficult.). So the next time you hear someone claim to have seen a million stars in the sky, just appreciate it as artistic license or exuberant exaggeration – because it isn’t true!

8) Red hot and cool ice blue – NOT!
We are accustomed to referring to things that are red as hot and those that are blue as cool. This is not entirely unreasonable, since a red, glowing fireplace poker is hot and ice, especially in glaciers and polar regions, can have a bluish cast. But we say that only because our everyday experience is limited. In fact, heated objects change color as their temperature changes, and red represents the lowest temperature at which a heated object can glow in visible light. As it gets hotter, the color changes to white and ultimately to blue. So the red stars you see in the sky are the “coolest” (least hot), and the blue stars are the hottest!

7) Stars are black bodies
A black body is an object that absorbs 100 percent of all electromagnetic radiation (that is, light, radio waves and so on) that falls on it. A common image here is that of a brick oven with the interior painted black and the only opening a small window. All light that shines through the window is absorbed by the interior of the oven and none is reflected outside the oven. It is a perfect absorber. As it turns out, this definition of being perfect absorbers suits stars very well! However, this just says that a blackbody absorbs all the radiant energy that hits it, but does not forbid it from re-emitting the energy. In the case of a star, it absorbs all radiation that falls on it, but it also radiates back into space much more than it absorbs. Thus a star is a black body that glows with great brilliance! (An even more perfect black body is a black hole, but of course, it appears truly black, and radiates no light.)

6) There are no green stars
Although there are scattered claims for stars that appear green, including Beta Librae (Zuben Eschamali), most observers do not see green in any stars except as an optical effect from their telescopes, or else an idiosyncratic quirk of personal vision and contrast. Stars emit a spectrum (“rainbow”) of colors, including green, but the human eye-brain connection mixes the colors together in a manner that rarely if ever comes out green. One color can dominate the radiation, but within the range of wavelengths and intensities found in stars, greens get mixed with other colors, and the star appears white. For stars, the general colors are, from lower to higher temperatures, red, orange, yellow, white and blue. So as far as the human eye can tell, there are no green stars.

5) The Sun is a green star
That being said, the Sun is a “green” star, or more specifically, a green-blue star, whose peak wavelength lies clearly in the transition area on the spectrum between blue and green.  This is not just an idle fact, but is important because the temperature of a star is related to the color of its most predominate wavelength of emission. (Whew!) In the Sun’s case, the surface temperature is about 5,800 K, or 500 nanometers, a green-blue. However, as indicated above, when the human eye factors in the other colors around it, the Sun’s apparent color comes out a white or even a yellowish white.

4) The Sun is a “dwarf” star
We are accustomed to think of the Sun as a “normal” star, and in many respects, it is. But did you know that it is a “dwarf” star? You may have heard of a “white dwarf,” but that is not a regular star at all, but the corpse of a dead star. Technically, as far as “normal” stars go (that is, astronomical objects that produce their own energy through sustained and stable hydrogen fusion), there are only “dwarfs,” “giants” and “supergiants.” The giants and supergiants represent the terminal (old age) stages of stars, but the vast majority of stars, those in the long, mature stage of evolution (Main Sequence) are all called “dwarfs.” There is quite a bit of range in size here, but they are all much smaller than the giants and supergiants. So technically, the Sun is a dwarf star, sometimes called “Yellow Dwarf” in contradiction to the entry above!

3) Stars don’t twinkle
Stars appear to twinkle (“scintillate”), especially when they are near the horizon. One star, Sirius, twinkles, sparkles and flashes so much some times that people actually report it as a UFO. But in fact, the twinkling is not a property of the stars, but of Earth’s turbulent atmosphere. As the light from a star passes through the atmosphere, especially when the star appears near the horizon, it must pass through many layers of often rapidly differing density. This has the effect of deflecting the light slightly as it were a ball in a pinball machine. The light eventually gets to your eyes, but every deflection causes it to change slightly in color and intensity. The result is “twinkling.” Above the Earth’s atmosphere, stars do not twinkle.

2) You can see 20 quadrillion miles, at least
On a good night, you can see about 19,000,000,000,000,000 miles, easily. That’s 19 quadrillion miles, the approximate distance to the bright star Deneb in Cygnus. which is prominent in the evening skies of Fall and Winter. Deneb is bright enough to be seen virtually anywhere in the Northern hemisphere, and in fact from almost anywhere in the inhabited world. There is another star, Eta Carina, that is a little more than twice as far away, or about 44 quadrillion miles. But Eta Carina is faint, and not well placed for observers in most of the Northern hemisphere. Those are stars, but both the Andromeda Galaxy and the Triangulum Galaxy are also visible under certain conditions, and are roughly 15 and 18 quintillion miles away! (One quintillion is 10^18!)

1) Black holes don’t “suck”
Many writers frequently describe black holes as “sucking” in everything around them. And it is a common worry among the ill-informed that the so-far hypothetical “mini” black holes that may be produced by the Large Hadron Collider would suck in everything around them in an ever increasing vortex that would consume the Earth! “Say it ain’t so, Joe!” Well, I am not Shoeless Joe Jackson, but it ain’t so. In the case of the LHC, it isn’t true for a number of reasons, but black holes in general do not “suck.”

This not just a semantic distinction, but one of process and consequence as well. The word “suck” via suction, as in the way vacuum cleaners work, is not how black holes attract matter. In a vacuum cleaner, the fan produces a partial vacuum (really, just a slightly lower pressure) at the floor end of the vacuum, and regular air pressure outside, being greater, pushes the air into it, carrying along loose dirt and dust.

In the case of black holes, there is no suction involved. Instead, matter is pulled into the black hole by a very strong gravitational attraction. In one way of visualizing it, it really is a bit like falling into a hole, but not like being hoovered into it. Gravity is a fundamental force of Nature, and all matter has it. When something is pulled into a black hole, the process is more like being pulled into like a fish being reeled in by an angler, rather than being pushed along like a rafter inexorably being dragged over a waterfall.

The difference may seem trivial, but from a physical standpoint it is fundamental.

So black holes don’t suck, but they are very cool. Actually, they are cold. Very, very cold. But that’s a story for another time.

Going to have to start saying “blue hot” and “red cool” from now on. I already knew that, but it’s a change I’m going to implement soon! 

(via st-ranglehold)

The Loch Ness Monster Is Real; The KKK Is Good: The Shocking Content of Publicly Paid for Christian School Textbooks ›

This 2012-2013 school year, thanks to a bill pushed through by governor Bobby Jindal, thousands of students in Louisiana will receive state voucher money, transferred from public school funding, to attend private religious schools, some of which teach from a Christian curriculum that suggests the Loch Ness Monster disproves evolution and states that the alleged creature, which has never been demonstrated to even exist, has been tracked by submarine and is probably aplesiosaur. The curriculum also claims that a Japanese fishing boat caught a dinosaur. 

On the list of schools approved to receive funding through the new voucher funding, that critics warn could eventually cut public school funding in half, are schools that teach from the Christian fundamentalist A Beka Book, Bob Jones University Press, and Accelerated Christian Education curriculum.

What’s in that curriculum? Last year, researcher Rachel Tabachnick and I co-produced a 35-minute documentary on the spread of a similar voucher program in Pennsylvania and other US states, titled “School Choice: Taxpayer-Funded Creationism, Bigotry, and Bias”. Embedded at the end of this post is an eight-minute video segment from that documentary with scans from material in currently used A Beka Book and Bob Jones University Press texts (in this May 25, 2011 story Tabachnick provides quotes from those textbooks.)

One of the schools cleared to receive substantial new funding through LA governor Bobby Jindal’s voucher program is Eternity Christian Academy, in Westlake, LA, which according to Independent Weekly writer Walter Pierce,

…has been approved to accept 135 new students. That’s a considerable uptick in enrollment, which at the end of this school year stood at 38 — a more than 300 percent increase. Talk about buttressing the budget; $1 million in tax dollars will be diverted from the public school system to Eternity Christian, a school that, according to its mission statement, offers “a quality faith-based curriculum that is soley [sic] based on principles from the Bible …

According to the Eternity Christian Academy website, the school uses the Accelerated Christian Education curriculum. So, what’s in the ACE curriculum?

An August 29, 2009 story in the Times Educational Supplement, a British publication for teachers, provides an excerpt from an Accelerated Christian Education science textbook:

Are dinosaurs alive today? Scientists are becoming more convinced of their existence.

Have you heard of the `Loch Ness Monster’ in Scotland? `Nessie,’ for short has been recorded on sonar from a small submarine, described by eyewitnesses, and photographed by others. Nessie appears to be a plesiosaur.

Could a fish have developed into a dinosaur? As astonishing as it may seem, many evolutionists theorize that fish evolved into amphibians and amphibians into reptiles. This gradual change from fish to reptiles has no scientific basis. No transitional fossils have been or ever will be discovered because God created each type of fish, amphibian, and reptile as separate, unique animals. Any similarities that exist among them are due to the fact that one Master Craftsmen fashioned them all.”

Extract from Biology 1099, Accelerated Christian Education Inc. (1995)

Is the text still in use today? The answer is yes, according to U.K. critic Jonny Scaramanga, who was raised on the ACE curriculum and now runs a blog titled “Leaving Fundamentalism: Examining Christian Fundamentalism in The UK”.

In a popular post titled Top 5 Lies Taught By Accelerated Christian Education, Scaramanga states, “I called ACE [Accelerated Christian Education] on May 3rd, 2012, and was told that all of these PACEs are still in print and the content has not changed. These lies are still being taught in over fifty British schools today.”

In the post, Scaramanga provides more detail on what ACE’s curriculum Science PACE 1099  has to say about the Loch Ness Monster:

Some scientists speculate that Noah took small or baby dinosaurs on the Ark…. are dinosaurs still alive today? With some recent photographs and testimonies of those who claimed to have seen one, scientists are becoming more convinced of their existence…

Among the other claims taught in ACE science curriculum, according to Scaramanga, are the following (the last three ACE curriculum claims are detailed in a subsequent post by Scaramanga titled, 5 Even Worse Lies from Accelerated Christian Education),

- Science Proves Homosexuality is a Learned Behavior
- The Second Law of Thermodynamics Disproves Evolution
- No Transitional Fossils Exist
- Humans and Dinosaurs Co-Existed
- Evolution Has Been Disproved
- A Japanese Whaling Boat Found a Dinosaur
- Solar Fusion is a Myth

One of the latest posts on Scaramanga’s blog is a testimony from a professed “survivor” of the ACE curriculum who says he nonetheless went on to become a synthetic biologist and worked on the Human Genome Project, and writes,

Everything about ACE is inimical to responsible education. It serves no purpose except to brainwash children and give parents the feeling that their children are being placed on the way to godliness. It is a travesty of schooling. Any teacher with any dignity or integrity would not put children anywhere near ACE.

Scaramanga’s broader critique of ACE takes on the curriculum’s primitive teaching methods, and its racial and cultural insensitivity:

Learning and assessment methodologies

…ACE tests almost exclusively consist of multiple choice, matching, or fill-in-the-blank questions. These means only test factual recall, not understanding. Even if the students are trying to take a deep learning approach, they are not given the opportunity…

ACE prescribes a system of rewards and punishments for students.4 Those who achieve academic and behavioural goals are awarded privileges such as extended break times and the freedom to move without permission. All the rewards offered are forms of extrinsic motivation, emphasising that learning itself is not the thing of value.

ACE assessments do not provide evidence that deep learning has taken place. Options on the multiple choice tests are frequently meaningless, such as “Jesus died on the (cross, toss, chrome)”.5

[…]

ACE rejects virtually all modern educational theory.7

Science

The ACE curriculum includes no practical science and accordingly no investigation. This would be troublesome for any ACE student embarking on a science higher education course.

“The PACEs are based on the reading comprehension mode of learning… There is no room within this method of learning for the negotiation of topics, for whole class problem solving, for the generation of ideas, for the formulating and testing of hypotheses, discussion of results and social application.”10

…Rather than weighing evidence objectively, the ACE system rejects any science that contradicts the Bible, stating:

“True science will never contradict the Bible because God created both the universe and Scripture…If a scientific theory contradicts the Bible, then the theory is wrong and must be discarded.”11

[…]

Racial insensitivity

The ACE curriculum shows insensitivity towards blacks, Jews, and natives.16 Cartoon strips used for the teaching of “Godly character” in the PACEs depict students attending racially segregated schools.17 ACE materials about Aborigines are unacceptable to the Aboriginal people.18 ACE’s stance on apartheid is also of concern. During apartheid, ACE claimed that if blacks were given the vote, it would destroy the South African economy.19 Subsequently, they have written about apartheid in terms that are equivocal at best:

    “For many years, the four racial groups were separated politically and socially by law. This policy of racial separation is called `apartheid’. South Africa’s apartheid policy encouraged whites, Blacks, Coloureds, and Asians to develop their own independent ways of life. Separate living area and schools made it possible for each group to maintain and pass on their culture and heritage to their children.”

[…]

Political Bias

ACE materials do not allow the consideration of any opposing point of view. This fails to develop skills required for degree-level study such as forming an argument, considering different opinions, and analysing the validity of claims. Rather than engaging with differing points of view, ACE derides them.21 ACE’s approach to politics borders on propaganda, with opinions presented as fact.22”

Like the ACE curriculum, A Beka and Bob Jones textbooks promote Young-Earth creationism, are heavily laden with political bias, and at times verge on racism. As shown in the following video, among the dubious, factually incorrect, politically tendentious, and racially and culturally insensitive claims in A Beka Book and Bob Jones University Press textbooks are the following:

- Only ten percent of Africans can read or write, because Christian mission schools have been shut down by communists.
- “the [Ku Klux] Klan in some areas of the country tried to be a means of reform, fighting the decline in morality and using the symbol of the cross… In some communities it achieved a certain respectability as it worked with politicians.”  
- “God used the ‘Trail of Tears’ to bring many Indians to Christ.”
- It “cannot be shown scientifically that that man-made pollutants will one day drastically reduce the depth of the atmosphere’s ozone layer.”
- “God has provided certain ‘checks and balances’ in creation to prevent many of the global upsets that have been predicted by environmentalists.”
- the Great Depression was exaggerated by propagandists, including John Steinbeck, to advance a socialist agenda.
- “Unions have always been plagued by socialists and anarchists who use laborers to destroy the free-enterprise system that hardworking Americans have created.”
- Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential win was due to an imaginary economic crisis created by the media.
- “The greatest struggle of all time, the Battle of Armageddon, will occur in the Middle East when Christ returns to set up his kingdom on earth.”

oh. my. god.

The United States of America on college education

  • Student: I'm not going to go to college because I don't want to go into debt.
  • USA: YOU USELESS PIECE OF SHIT. YOU'RE GOING TO AMOUNT TO NOTHING YOU FUCKING SCUMBAG. YOU'RE THE REASON WHY MY TAXES ARE SO HIGH.
  • Student: I'm just going to attend a small community college instead.
  • USA: HAHAHA YOU WERE TOO STUPID TO GET INTO A GOOD UNIVERSITY. ENJOY YOUR MCDONALD'S DIPLOMA.
  • Student: I attended a four year university and received a diploma in a field I am interested in. Now I am $50,000+ in debt.
  • USA: YOU DUMBASS. WHY THE FUCK DID YOU GO TO COLLEGE WHEN YOU KNOW YOU COULDN'T AFFORD IT? YOU DIDN'T EVEN CHOOSE A USEFUL MAJOR EITHER. GOD PEOPLE LIKE YOU MAKE ME SICK.

(via omnivorousstegosaurus)

I like how when I used to get home from school in elementary school, my mom would ask, “So what did you learn in school today?” and I would reply, “I dunno,” or “Nothing.”

And now, in college, when I call home to tell her what I’ve learned because I’m actually excited that I’m learning for once, she doesn’t want to hear what I have learned because it conflicts with her beliefs.

The irony is kind of funny and pathetic at the same time.

"Mom, 13.7 billion years ago the chemical composition of the universe was—"

"The earth is only 6,000 years old, son."

"Well, mom, they found skeletons of these homo sapiens 100,000 years that they think—"

"The earth is only 6,000 years old, son."

Idk why the fuck this woman wants me to go to school, if I could just read the bible and know everything. Good thing I don’t give a fuck about what she thinks and I’m going to continue learning about where we came from and about this universe. Learning is awesome. It sucks that religion causes her to be anti-education.

Teacher fired for having appeared in a porn video several years ago ›

OH THAT’S FUNNY, I thought we lived in a country with individual rights. But no. This women was fucking fired from her TEACHING job because she was in a porn video before. We can’t get enough teachers to fucking teach because our school system is a piece of shit, and yet we’re firing people for what they do outside of work.!?!?

How the fuck is this school allowed to discriminate like that.!? This means if someone is in on porn video, it can prevent them from getting a job for the rest of their lives. WTF. Porn is legal. YOU CAN BE BARRED FROM EVERY HOLDING A JOB BECAUSE YOU DID SOMETHING LEGAL. WELCOME TO THE UNITED STATES OF FUCKMEINTHEASSWITHACHAINSAWAMERICA. Fuck this country. Fuck the politicians who allow this to happen. Fuck those who discriminate against porn stars or anyone else who does whatever the fuck they want outside of work.

FUCK. What the fuck.

3 Ways to Fix U.S. Science Education. ›

thescienceofreality:

When Jamie Hyneman and I speak at teacher conventions, we always draw a grateful crowd. They tell us Thursday mornings are productive because students see us doing hands-on science Wednesday nights on our show MythBusters, and they want to talk about it. These teachers are so dedicated, but they have difficulty teaching for the standardized tests they’re given with the budgets they’re not given. It’s one reason the U.S. is falling behind other countries in science: By 2010, Asia will have 90 percent of the world’s Ph.D. scientists and engineers. We’re not teachers, but our show has taught us a lot about how to get people interested in science. Here are three humble suggestions that might help reinvigorate American science education. 

1. Let students get their hands dirty.

It’s really difficult to absorb things just by being told about them—I know I don’t learn well that way. If students could get their hands dirty in science class they’d be more likely to internalize information. You can lecture about the surface tension of water, but it’s not as effective as conducting an experiment with a needle and a single beam balance. Jamie and I are in touch with a lot of teachers from industrial engineering programs, and one of them told us he thinks our show has helped shift the emphasis from the strictly theoretical to a more hands-on approach. (For an example of kids doing down-and-dirty engineering, click here.) 

2. Yes, spend more money on science.

We like to do things on the cheap at MythBusters, and we often find the most elegant solution is also the least expensive. But we still need significant resources. It drives me crazy that one of the first things to go when educational budgets get slashed is science supplies for kids to play with, so students end up just listening to explanations of scientific concepts. MythBusters is not a show where two guys read about stuff—it’s two guys doing stuff. When we need a valve to fire a baseball at nearly the speed of sound, we get it. Most of my friends who are grade school teachers pay for their own supplies. People say, “You can’t just throw money at the problem.” By all means throw money at the problem! Learning science by experi­mentation yields innovation, inspiration, intuition and fascination. 

3. Celebrate mistakes.

A good scientist will tell you that being wrong can be just as interesting as being right. The same holds for our show. We love hearing from fans who challenge our conclusions—especially kids. We gave a talk at the Uni­versity of Florida, and a 12-year-old girl asked us why, when we tested whether elephants are afraid of mice, we only used white mice. She was right; we should have tested different-­colored ones. For our fuel-efficiency myth, windows versus a/c, we drove two cars at 45 mph until they ran out of gas; our data showed that driving with the windows open was more efficient. But a fan pointed out that over a certain speed, open windows create so much drag that a/c is more efficient. We repeated the test at 55 mph—and the fan was right. Kids need to know that teachers and textbooks don’t have all the answers—and that’s okay. Sometimes, even a failed experiment can be a good learning experience.”


This is from a couple years ago, but I still think it rings true. The decline of education, much less in the fields of science, in the United States schooling system[s] is appalling. 

(via christiantheatheist)

#science  #education  #us  #america  #usa  

Sex education should focus not just on the mechanics of heterosexual sex and how to keep it safe – important as these are – but on varieties of sex. Sex between girls, sex between boys; the importance of enthusiastic consent – in effect, discussion of how to have good sex rather than just safe sex. The fact that girls as well as boys enjoy sexual activity is important to emphasise. I’ll never forget overhearing a conversation on a bus where a boy was asking a female friend of mine, both around 18, why girls masturbated. That alone demonstrates to me the need for better education.

cartoonpolitics:

when right-wing rhetoric meets reality ..

cartoonpolitics:

when right-wing rhetoric meets reality ..

(via stfuconservatives)

religiousragings:

Makes perfect sense to me.  ;)

PERFECT.

religiousragings:

Makes perfect sense to me.  ;)

PERFECT.

(via ofallmediums)

News in Evolution:

atheismfuckyeah:

Some research published yesterday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences may alter our understanding of the evolution of walking.

The ability in question is lifting the body entirely off the ground using only the limbs. Previously, we’ve always believed that tetrapods (four-legged creatures) were the first to do so, some time after they adapted to spend a significant amount of time on the land.

However, new information has come to light. Studies of an African lungfish (Protopterus annectens)have shown that, using only its two frail pelvic fins, is able to do this as well. Lungfish are able to spend a percentage of their time out of water.

The discovery suggests that the ability to walk along the bottom may have actually developed in shallow water before any creatures ventured onto the dry land, making the leap from swimming to walking not quite as dramatic as previously assumed.

You can see a video of the lungfish doing its thing here: using its fins to “walk” in an alternating pattern, then using them together to “hop”.

From Skeptoid Newsletter

Awesome!

~Mooglets

Evolution of Dreams in School

  • Elementary School Teacher: You can be whatever you want when you grow up! Dream big!
  • High School Teacher: Make sure that you have a back-up just in case your dream fails.
  • College Professor: You will never be any more successful than I. Your dreams are a joke.

tor-hay:

slinkstercool:

jteliczan:

Secrets of the 99% 

I am the 99%

So are you.

Our generation is drowning.

We were told education would save us; we were lied to.

GPOY to a T right now :((

(via airypotuh)

We can tell our children that school is important until we’re blue in the face, they’re not stupid. They see the loudest applause is for the kids on the field. They know teachers are paid poorly and don’t drive fancy cars. They know people plan Super Bowl parties but mock the National Spelling Bee. In other words, they see the hypocrisy, and we can’t expect society to correct itself. If we want to have any lasting influence on the way our kids approach education — the way future generations approach education — then we have to grab our pom-poms and paint our faces and celebrate intellectual curiosity with the same vigor we do their athletic achievements.

Why I’m raising my son to be a nerd - CNN.com

We also don’t believe in the value of education, culturally — we just like to say we do because as citizens of an industrialized nation, we’re supposed to.

(via chameli)

Obviously our society values athletics above academics. We’re a country of meatheads and “macho” men. I wish that would change, but I don’t see it happening.

(via iggyjack-deactivated20120215)