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April 26, 2010

Overnight Open Thread

Welcome to the Monday.

Taco the Baby Tortoise Who Comes When Called
Well kind of. But I guess that's doing pretty well for a creature with at best a pea-sized brain. But he's still pretty cute. So yeah I guess I like turtles too.


What Happens When Education Professors Run a School?
Well when the Stanford Department of Education ran a charter school using the latest and greatest pedagogic theories, it eventually had to be shut down because it was in the lowest achieving 5% of all CA schools(!) which is really saying something. Yet nearby schools with similar student demographics did much better.

The basic problem here is two-fold - education professors are obsessed with novelty in a field which is essentially mature and they are also some of the least rigorous researchers in the entire university. Based on previous failures I suspect a lot of their theories were never actually tested with real students and were tainted with the Hawthorne effect when they were tried e.g. whole language. Can anyone name a truly new effective teaching technique developed since the 50's? I doubt it. Yet education departments around the country continue to plod on.

Chernobyl Anniversary
24 years on April 26th, 1986 the Chernobyl nuclear plant had a partial meltdown and part of the core exploded. By the time it was finally re-contained in a concrete sarcophagus, 50 people are known to ave been killed and possibly many more. Ironically the accident took place during the test of an emergency safety system. And like nearly all nuclear accidents, it took place late at night when people's alertness levels are at their lowest.

Chernobyl_Disaster.jpg

Japan Opening Its First Foreign Military base Since WWII
In Djibouti to help fight Somali pirates. According to the head of Japan's Navy 90% of all Japanese exports pass through the Gulf of Aden which gives them some incentive to go after the pirates.

Fox News Plus Sex
Apparently Fox News has a sex column written by Jenny Block and Gawker snarks on this - not because they disapprove but because they can't understand why the rubes who watch Faux news aren't outraged. And yes it's covered vajazzling and sexbots.

JennyBlock.jpg

Did the Marines Kill an Overweight teen With Exercise?
It's unclear who if anyone told him to wear a plastic suit and scuba gear while working out. Given that he was 5' 8" and weighed 226 lbs, there was no way he would be able to sweat off 45 lbs of water to make the USMC weight target. The idea that 'extra sweating' will help you lose fat seems like one of those goofy ideas you get from other kids rather than Marine Corp recruiters.

The 8 Most Terrifying Holes in the World
Well the hole in Serbia has been known to suck in helicopter. But at least you can avoid it by staying away unlike the 'rat hole' which comes after you.

serbiahole5.jpg

Cornholing Is Very Popular in the Midwest
And often involves beer, White Castle, and sand bags. But sadly does not qualify as exercise. Thanks to a moron.

cornhole.jpg

Death of the Floppy
The 3.5" diskette has been around since 1981 and is finally going away. I think I have an unopened package of diskettes somewhere in a box. But i doubt they'll ever again be worth what I paid for them.

sony-disk.jpg

The group thingy. You can figure out the rest.

Tonight's post brought to you by the Star Flower:

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Notice: Posted by permission of AceCorp LLC. Please e-mail overnight open thread tips to maetenloch at gmail. Otherwise send tips to Ace.

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posted by Maetenloch at 09:51 PM

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