Man I love’em. The breeze is a caress.
Sorry folks, this is going to be a long one.
When I was in college ROTC I met a guy with the unlikely name of William Waddoups Jacobsen Jr. He didn’t tell me about the Waddoups right away, he was just Bill.
Bill was older than the rest of us. At least he felt that way to me. He was only one year ahead of me in school but he was a mentor, a steadying influence, and a friend through all the strange disquieting times that come upon a freshman in college away from home for the first time. He lifted me up and pushed me down in turn, as I needed it.
For only $50 you can get a $larger dollar value!
Impose your will upon the outcome of this historic contest!
Read the works before you vote!
Keep the digital copies and only read them after you’ve cast your ballot of ignorance! Long live the counter-culture!
I once referred to Penny Arcade as the ‘one true comic.’ I still feel this way.
Lately, I’ve become addicted to PATV. I’m pretty sure ‘addicted’ is the wrong word, actually. I don’t binge. I’ll watch, sometimes, two episodes at a time.
My restraint is not a symptom of apathy toward the product. It is only possible through iron self-control. For PATV is an extremely limited commodity. There are only so many episodes glistening in their neat rows, waiting to be harvested at my leisure. Once I watch the last there will be no more, until the gods dole them singly out at a shameful pace. So I limit myself.
My fascination with the victories and secret shames of the .jpg business has been a puzzle to me. I’ve finally decided, though, that the show is a glimpse of the promised land. I’m like the fisher boy peering past the City of Enoch as it passes through the fiery portal far above my head.
I’ve worked in cubicle farms. I work in one now. To work and get paid in an environment such as is portrayed in each episode of PATV… Joy.
Of course, I have no relevant skills. I sketch. I can run five miles in forty minutes. I do monkey work in InDesign and Photoshop. I know how to find and kill bad men up close and from afar. None of these skills or their corollaries would be useful…there. They would likely be handicaps.
Yet I can’t stop watching.
Or not. Do what you think is best. It’s a free country after all.
Just read a very interesting rant by one Gayle Forman. I have opinions on the same subject, Public Education in the United States, but I don’t pretend to be particularly well-informed.
My children are currently being homeschooled by my wife, which situation I am very happy with. They have attended public schools and charter schools in the past. So we are familiar with at least a narrow cross-section of education in our very tiny portion of the world. We chose home school for a variety of reasons.
I myself am a product of public education, as is my wife. I too had some good teachers and some bad. I would go so far as to say very bad and very good. It’s a mixed bag out there, which Ms. Forman is careful to point out.
One of the points that Ms. Forman makes so entertainingly is that standardized testing is bad and that No Child Left Behind is awful. Standardized testing stifles creative teachers by forcing them to ‘teach to the test,’ she says. And frankly, I agree that teaching to a test is a bad idea. Mostly because it’s cheating if you’re teaching children to pass a test rather than master the skills that are tested therein. Such a teacher is lazily missing the point of their profession.
Ms. Forman cites a wonderful example of teachers who threw such practices into the trash and instead used their creativity and ingenuity to try and teach the actual skills their students needed in innovative and interesting ways. They even wrote a book about it: Creating Literacy-Rich Schools for Adolescents.
Of course, saying that such methods work better than whatever the other teachers are doing is one thing, proving it is quite another. Ms. Forman rose to the task, however, when she crowed about the success of this program.
She proved it by citing standardized test scores which rose in response to the innovative teacher’s methods.
Now why would she do that after castigating standardized testing as harshly as she does? I think it’s because she arrived at the same conclusion the politicians did. If you want to know how well education is being accomplished you must test the recipients. And those tests must be comparable from student to student, so they must be standardized. How else would one do it?
She actually, perhaps inadvertently, illustrates an argument against her position that, generally, teachers are not at fault for the sad state of our public education. As her example so clearly illustrates, teachers with drive passion and creativity can produce students who blow those heinous standardized tests out of the water.
So why don’t they then?
Things like this interest me.
And yes, one crowd of people celebrating looks very much like another. But there the similarity ends. Crowds of middle-easterners behaving thus over the death of 3000 innocent civilians is not, in fact, “like” this crowd celebrating the death of a mass-murdering sociopath who killed 3000 of their fellow-citizens.
As wigg1es so aptly put it on Boing Boing, “If only this actually meant anything……”
What does it mean?
That the vast majority of Americans will now be able to tell themselves that all is right with the world, the boogey man is no more, and that this actually does change something.
I hope and I pray that they are right, that it will change something. I doubt that UBL’s fellow travelers will now shrug their shoulders and walk away into obscurity, but I hope they do.
I also hope and pray that the believers in Democracy and the Rule of Law around the world who depend on American might will not now be abandoned in an orgy of political expediency among our politicians.
Edit: Buried at sea? Really? – No pictures yet? Really? – Is our government TRYING to minimize the positive effects of this action?
Edit 2: So we’ve had two years of the left telling birthers that insisting on proof, documentation, of an event is stupid, in order to defend Obama’s failure to produce an official birth certificate. This thought pattern is so ingrained that now we must laugh to scorn those who ask for proof, like a high-res photo, of UBL’s dead body? Folks, as a friend of mine said, “There are people who still believe Elvis is alive, and we’re not producing a picture of UBL dead? WTF?”
Everything I liked about it in the first 8 chapters: Hard SF sensibilities, a cool central premise, the fast moving short story pace, were maintained for the entire novel. All good. Highly recommended.
And in other news, Eric James Stone’s story “That Leviathan, Whom Thou Hast Made” has been nominated for a Hugo award in the “Best Novelette” category. Huge congratulations, Eric!