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Comment: Re:To be fair... (Score 1) 388

by pjt33 (#48805631) Attached to: UK Computing Teachers Concerned That Pupils Know More Than Them

There's another fairly major point: although the title of this /. thread talks about "computing teachers", the summary talks about "primary and secondary teachers", and the original press release talks about "teachers responsible for teaching computing". Primary school teachers, who were already expected to know everything about everything, are now (PDF warning) expected to teach programming, debugging, networking, etc. There's no particular reason why people who signed up to teach 5 to 7 year-olds ten years ago would be more likely than the general populace to be good at debugging.

Comment: Re:The Full List (Score 4, Interesting) 249

by pjt33 (#48792533) Attached to: Education Debate: Which Is More Important - Grit, Or Intelligence?

As the parent of a Straight ‘A’ gifted child I can say for a fact Hard Work is the most important factor.

As a former straight A gifted child, I can say that you're wrong. Maybe hard work is the most important factor for your daughter, but you can't extrapolate from her to every successful student.

The only year in my education in which I worked hard was my first year at university, partly because I didn't know how good I was relative to my peers and wanted to compete, partly because a quarter of my course was material which I did actually need to work at, and partly because my one-on-one for that material was with someone who really pushed me. When I finished in the top three and won a scholarship, I didn't feel the need to prove myself in the second and third years, and I had more freedom to choose courses which I found easy. The most important factors for my academic success were intuition, a memory which was good at retaining the things that matters for the subjects I chose, and curiosity.

Just to be completely clear: I'm not knocking hard work. The person who finished first in my course in the second year was a friend whom I met up with once or twice a week to explain the things they hadn't understood in lectures. I think they worked quite hard, and maybe I could have finished first if I'd worked harder. But I preferred to spend about twenty hours a week working and have lots of time to participate in various student societies, because university is about more than grades. (I still got first class honours, so I didn't judge it too badly!)

Comment: Parameter mismatch (Score 2) 83

by pjt33 (#48755095) Attached to: Analysis of Spacecraft Data Reveals Most Earth-like Planet To Date

5737.01 ... is 30% larger than Earth, Mullally says. That’s good news, because scientists here reported yesterday that planets more than 1.6 times the mass of Earth are unlikely to be dense rocky worlds like ours

I'm not seeing the good news. If it has a similar density to Earth, it will have a mass about 1.3^3 ~= 2.2 times the mass of Earth.

Comment: Re:Yay! Statistics! (Score 1) 234

by pjt33 (#48695501) Attached to: Being Colder May Be Good For Your Health

I wish the article said something about which parts of Spain, because with the exception of the Pyrenees it doesn't really make sense to talk about the "warmer parts" versus the "cooler parts". There are the parts which have much more seasonal variation - and so are warmer in summer and cooler in winter - and the parts which are more moderate all year round. This is influenced by altitude and proximity to the coast, so probably also has a good correlation with humidity. And I'm sure there are even more confounding factors which could be added to the list.

"Love your country but never trust its government." -- from a hand-painted road sign in central Pennsylvania