Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The liberal hidden agenda is - little girls

TLDL:  Social-scientists from U. Rochester and Harvard analyzed the rulings of 240 judges - found that judges with female children were 7% more-likely to rule in a feminist favor.

To put that 7% in more-relative terms, seven percentage points is about half the difference between democratic and republican judges - pretty striking.  Furthermore, the difference is strongest among republican men.

This hits my awesome-receptors in so many ways:

First, it illustrates that judges, like the rest of us, are influenced (consciously or not) by our children and are not 100% impartial.  

Second, it demonstrates how a father can hold republican ideologies up to a certain point.  Once it starts "hitting home", as it were, their view changes. 

Third, it infers that if the conservative parties want conservative judges, they either have to look for judges with no children, or judges with only male children.  I seem to recall other cultures where girls were looked down upon....hmmm....give me a second....

In closing, if we accept that judges can be influenced by this and, presumably, by other life-experiences, then the best scenario we can hope for (in regards to fair justice) is to bring as much DIVERSITY to our judges as we can.  If we seek to avoid "overloading" on one particular influence, then we can neutralize it across the entire judging population.

...or we can just say that girls have cooties.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Elementary School Teacher institutes pay-for-potty policy. Pee-larity ensues

** Abe Simpson mode on **
Do you remember when America was great?*  We were a nation of builders.  We blazed trails instead of trailing the blazers.  We survived on our own wits and conquered nature.  We won wars and baked lattice-crusted apple-pies to cool on our suburban windowsills while our 2.5 children played with the family golden retriever inside the white picket-fence.

**Abe Simpson mode off **
Now, it's all about how great American cities are crumbling.  Some are declaring bankruptcy.  People of noble stature and high office are embroiled in scandal and ridicule.  Domestic events and family secrets aren't handled behind closed bedroom doors anymore - they are broadcast across the planet at the speed of light.  America is seen as lagging behind other nations in manufacturing, industry, and education.

We appear to know too much and not enough.

This one Washington state teacher in particular decided to try a non-sanctioned program to introduce economics to an elementary school class.  (S)he instituted a form of play-currency among the third-graders.  Students could earn money through various tasks, but also had to pay money to do certain things. of which was to get permission to use the toilet.

Yes, you've already imagined the inevitable has already happened, but let's entertain this a bit further.

I am reminded of the wise-words my most-brilliant and favorite Latin teacher once told me:  "I don't have to do anything but die and go potty."

Sure enough, everything else outside of those two life-options was in one form or another - optional.  This underscores the importance of the toilet in our existence.  It is unavoidable.

It is probably the unavoidable-ness of the potty which this teacher chose to focus on.  (S)he no doubt wanted to stress the validity and power of currency by linking it to such a vital need.  I imagine asking the students to pay for breathing would've accomplished the same goal.  However, (s)he is asking a room of third-graders to budget-their-funds-in-advance.  Let me stress that I am a forty-three year-old male and I require retirement-planning assistance.

As an exercise, I'll just rattle-off some concepts associated with this economics lesson:
1.  Emergency fund planning - the children should have money set-aside for one emergency
2.  Biological monitoring - the children should have an accurate projection of their bathroom needs for each day.  Only then can they foresee their economic needs for using the toilet.
3.  Dietary monitoring - the children should be aware of what they are consuming each day (food and drink) and recognize how that will impact their economic needs for using the toilet.
4.  Economic scale - the children should recognize how much effort and work is required to earn enough to meet their economic needs for using the toilet.
5.  Predatory practices - the children should recognize when income versus expense ratios are unfair and either demand increases in wage or protest.
6.  Alternative methods to earning - the children should embrace their entrepreneurial spirit and seek independent means (legality notwithstanding) of generating income to satisfy the economic needs for using the toilet.

I'm certain there are other aspects which were not even considered by this teacher - but it is apparent that the students were very intimidated by this situation to the extent that their clothes were soiled.

This is not making America great at all.

I *WANT* teachers to make pro-athlete salaries.  That is how vital I view quality education.  That is how much trust and respect I place in my children's teachers.  I don't want off-the-street Joe-the-plumber teaching my kids.  I want someone qualified, certified, recognized, and well-respected.  Someone who connects with my kids for LIFE.  Someone who wouldn't think of starting a capitalism lesson for third-graders involving biological functions and pay-on-demand policies.

* - for the record, I will always view America as the greatest nation on Earth.  I think knowing is better than not-knowing.  I think children, teachers, and the planet are the greatest investments we have to ensure the future of humanity.  How's that for an economics lesson?

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Horror Game: Among The Sleep

I'm mentioning this game because it uses a radically different perspective.

You are a toddler.

You are not Angelina Jolie with two nine-millimeters on your hips.  You are not Jason Statham with choreographed fight scenes.  You are not James Tiberius Kirk and your phasers are not set to stun.

You are a child and you might have a teddy bear.  Your goal is to find mommy.  The only thing standing in your way is a house full of haunt.  Welcome to that world.

Among The Sleep is said to support Sony Playstation 4 and their new VR headset - Project Morpheus, you know, for an even more-immersive psychotic episode.  Those on PC, Mac OSX, and Linux can also play along with Oculus Rift support.

Quit trying to set your teddy bear to stun.  It will not work.

In-game screenshot - work in progress

Friday, May 2, 2014

My newfound respect for Chemistry teachers

Yes, we are all aware of Walter White.  He made chemistry teachers sexy.  But that was last season.

What really draws my attention to chemistry teachers now is all the focus on botched executions.  Much attention is being paid to all the little details involved in delivering lethal injections to execute a criminal:  what drugs are being used, who is administering them, what procedures are in place, who is overseeing the process, what involvement does the doctor or on-site medical professional have, etc.

I did recall the story about how America was running low on the supply of certain components needed for lethal injection.  Apparently, we were importing sodium thiopental (this is the barbiturate first administered to anesthetize the subject) from a U.S company, Hospira, based in Italy.  As it turns out, Italy is against capital punishment.  The U.S company then ceased production of sodium thiopental out of fear of prosecution from the Italian government.

America was then forced to look for its lethal-injection compounds elsewhere.  Denmark (who is actually pro-capital punishment) also agreed, then later disagreed, to supply the U.S. with sodium thiopental.  The U.K. was considered but supply was questionable.

So, this one question kept arising in my brain:  "Why can't we make our own Sodium Thiopental?"

Clearly, we have the resources -  Hospira clearly has all the technical and legal knowledge to execute whatever protocols are required to manufacture this compound.  They just need the political permission (man, that hurt just typing it). 
From Wikipedia - "Hospira manufactures this product because it improves or saves lives, and the company markets it solely for use as indicated on the product labeling. The drug is not indicated for capital punishment, and Hospira does not support its use in this procedure." - Hospira Spokesperson

I will share this one Forbes article which made my jaw drop.  "[Sodium Thiopental]
is typical of a wide range of advanced products that are no longer made in the United States – products that in the fullness of time the United States will probably lose all ability to make. (Advanced manufacturing knowhow is acquired through years or even decades of learning-by-doing and once lost is difficult or impossible to reacquire.)

HOW IN THE WORLD would we "lose the recipe" to make something?!? THIS is why I am praising Chemistry teachers today. They can look at the structure of a sodium barbiturate and understand
the alkylation of ethylmalonic ester with 2-bromopentane in the presence of sodium ethoxide.[5][6] The product ethyl-(1-methylbutyl)malonic ester undergoes heterocyclization with thiourea, using sodium ethoxide as a base.

..and subsequently make a brazillion dollars.

The fact is, America is not going to stop executing criminals.  Our mindset is not even close to that.  Until capital punishment is abolished, we will continue to have a "Death Row" in our prison system.  That being said, we do have a moral obligation to make the executions as humane as possible.  This requires us having the right resources in place at the right time.  The drug manufacturer stated they had an objection to participating in capital punishment and it is now appearing that the criminals are suffering for it.

Now I have to scrub my browsers because I googled "how to make sodium thiopental".