Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment: Re:Wait so now (Score 1) 692

by Kleebner (#46045103) Attached to: Protesters Show Up At the Doorstep of Google Self-driving Car Engineer

that land isn't in the frisco metropolitan area, so it's not exactly relevant; people who want to live in SF don't want to live in a new exurban development that used to belong to the parks service

Oh yes it is. The Bay Area has huge portions of it locked off from development through "open space" laws.

Comment: Re:Test scores (Score 1) 715

by Kleebner (#45942579) Attached to: How Good Are Charter Schools For the Public School System?

What else is there to grade schools on?

The people that criticize standardized testing are usually opposed to any accountability whatsoever. We are not going to fix our schools until we can fix the politics. Public schools are more politicized than any other institution in America. Teachers unions are the single biggest donors to the Democratic party, and 20% of the delegates to the last Democratic Convention were members. Democrats will do anything to support the unions, and the Republicans will do anything to oppose them. Neither party is concerned about actually educating the kids. Charter schools are just a pawn in the game. Democratic politicians generally oppose them, and Republican politicians generally support them. Neither cares about any actual evidence about whether they are effective or not.

I would not go so far as to say that either side does not care. It is more correct that they have lost sight of what they were originally trying to acomplish and do not realize it.

Earth

Officials Sue Couple Who Removed Their Lawn 819

Posted by kdawson
from the revenge-of-the-lawn dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "The LA Times reports that Orange County officials are locked in a legal battle with a couple accused of violating city ordinances for replacing the grass on their lawn with wood chips and drought-tolerant plants, reducing their water usage from 299,221 gallons in 2007 to 58,348 gallons in 2009. The dispute began two years ago, when Quan and Angelina Ha tore out the grass in their front yard. In drought-plagued Southern California, the couple said, the lush grass had been soaking up tens of thousands of gallons of water — and hundreds of dollars — each year. 'We've got a newborn, so we want to start worrying about her future,' said Quan Ha, an information technology manager for Kelley Blue Book. But city officials told the Has they were violating several city laws that require that 40% of residential yards to be landscaped predominantly with live plants. Last summer, the couple tried to appease the city by building a fence around the yard and planting drought-tolerant greenery — lavender, rosemary, horsetail, and pittosporum, among others. But according to the city, their landscaping still did not comply with city standards. At the end of January, the Has received a letter saying they had been charged with a misdemeanor violation and must appear in court. The couple could face a maximum penalty of six months in jail and a $1,000 fine for their grass-free, eco-friendly landscaping scheme. 'It's just funny that we pay our taxes to the city and the city is now prosecuting us with our own money,' says Quan Ha."
Education

New Plan Lets Top HS Students Graduate 2 Years Early 425

Posted by timothy
from the chipping-at-the-prison-wall dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "The NY Times reports that education commissioners in Connecticut, Kentucky, Maine, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont have pledged to sign up 10 to 20 schools each for a pilot project that would allow 10th graders who pass a battery of tests to get a diploma two years early and immediately enroll in community college. The new system of high school coursework with the accompanying board examinations is modeled largely on systems in high-performing nations including Denmark, England, Finland, France and Singapore. 'We've looked at schools all over the world, and if you walk into a high school in the countries that use these board exams, you'll see kids working hard, whether they want to be a carpenter or a brain surgeon.' says Marc S. Tucker, president of the National Center on Education and the Economy. Kentucky's commissioner of education, Terry Holliday, says high school graduation requirements have long been based on having students accumulate enough course credits to graduate. 'We've been tied to seat time for 100 years. This would allow an approach based on subject mastery — a system based around move-on-when-ready,' says Holliday. However some school officials are concerned about the social and emotional implications of 16-year-olds going off to college. 'That's far too young to be thrown into an environment with college students who are about 18 to 23 years old. ... Most of them are just not mature enough to handle that,' says Mary Anderson, headmaster of Pinkerton Academy."
Science

New Antifreeze Molecule Isolated In Alaskan Beetle 108

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the cold-hard-science dept.
Arvisp writes with the news of a recently discovered antifreeze molecule in an Alaskan beetle that departs from most commonly identified natural antifreeze. "'The most exciting part of this discovery is that this molecule is a whole new kind of antifreeze that may work in a different location of the cell and in a different way,' said zoophysiologist Brian Barnes, director of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Institute of Arctic Biology and one of five scientists who participated in the Alaska Upis ceramboides beetle project. Just as ice crystals form over ice cream left too long in a freezer, ice crystals in an insect or other organism can draw so much water out of the organism's cells that those cells die. Antifreeze molecules function to keep small ice crystals small or to prevent ice crystals from forming at all. They may help freeze-tolerant organisms survive by preventing freezing from penetrating into cells, a lethal condition. Other insects use these molecules to resist freezing by supercooling when they lower their body temperature below the freezing point without becoming solid."
Science

Aussie Scientists Find Coconut-Carrying Octopus 205

Posted by timothy
from the concealed-carry-in-australian-waters dept.
An anonymous reader writes with this excerpt from an AP report: "Australian scientists have discovered an octopus in Indonesia that collects coconut shells for shelter — unusually sophisticated behavior that the researchers believe is the first evidence of tool use in an invertebrate animal. The scientists filmed the veined octopus, Amphioctopus marginatus, selecting halved coconut shells from the sea floor, emptying them out, carrying them under their bodies up to 65 feet (20 meters), and assembling two shells together to make a spherical hiding spot. ... 'I was gobsmacked,' said Finn, a research biologist at the museum who specializes in cephalopods. 'I mean, I've seen a lot of octopuses hiding in shells, but I've never seen one that grabs it up and jogs across the sea floor. I was trying hard not to laugh.'"
Censorship

Aussie Gov't To Introduce Bill That Would Require ISP-Level Censorship 200

Posted by timothy
from the lovely-people-shame-about-the-government dept.
bennyboy64 writes "iTnews reports that the Australian Government has announced its intention to introduce legislation that will make ISP-level filtering mandatory for all refused classification material hosted overseas. The Government intends to amend the Broadcasting Services Act in August 2010 to enforce the filter, and expects the filter to be operational within a further twelve months. 'The report into the pilot trial of ISP-level filtering demonstrates that blocking RC-rated material can be done with 100 percent accuracy and negligible impact on internet speed' Senator Conroy, Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy said." This despite, as reader Sharky2009 writes, the trial run showing that "a technically competent user could circumvent filtering technology based on ACMA’s blacklist."

To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing. -- Elbert Hubbard

Working...