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Comment Re:Amazing, what statements you can get out of dat (Score 1) 472

Maybe you can help outline exactly what "plainly supports" what you say? See, I rather thought that when evaluating a hypothesis you looked at p-values rather than inferences from means, with "outliers" (hint, that doesn't mean what you think it does) removed. The section shows p-values of less than .05 and .01 for their two tests, which meet the general acceptability for rejecting the null hypothesis. Is there something missing here?

Comment Re:The Foundations of this argument are absurd any (Score 2) 472

You're right. However, I must say that as a public school math teacher I chafe a little at the "inside public schools" comment, only because most of us inside really, really want to change, but it's mostly not inside factors stopping us, but outside influences (things like the math wars in the 1990s).

I have a colleague here who is a veteran top-notch math teacher who did his masters thesis on gender segregating his 5-7th grade math classes at a prestigious secular private school. Not only did the attitudes and engagement of the female student improve, but the male students also showed higher satisfaction and achievement.

The people who didn't like it? The parents. After the study concluded they couldn't keep doing it because parents fought to keep them from segregating the classrooms, facts be damned

Comment Maybe it looks different (Score 1) 392

I loved hypercard, and am sad that it is gone, especially as an educator. It's sad that most student's interaction with computers these days is web surfing, word and powerpoint. Some people have mentioned the failures of hypercard like software, and I don't think that's fair. When I tried supercard it felt like it was trying to clone hypercard... just as it was years ago, not accounting for advancements in the world.

The thing that feels most like hypercard to me today is game development engines, like Unity3D. Basing navigation around hyperlinking is downplayed (as it is everywhere these days) but the idea that you can have graphic and text elements, in 2D or 3D, and then interactions facilitated through simple scripting (use javascript, C# or Boo) makes it feel like the spiritual successor to hypercard. NASA has done some awesome stuff using Unity. I think Unity might be missing out by calling it a game engine--it can do much more.

Comment Kids is too broad (Score 5, Interesting) 240

Researchers have known for years that there are certain windows of brain development where learning is best supported, and how other activities aren't so helpful. Language acquisition and music have their sweet spot right around 3-6 years of age. It is likely that the skills that using tech best supports are much later in the development of childrens' minds (like logic, problem solving). It shouldn't be surprising that early childhood subjects only use tech as entertainment, and learn little from it. But children, of age 10 or so, can benefit greatly from having exposure to tech in an interactive manner. This is supported by places like Finland, where they don't teach "hard" subjects or tech in early childhood, but rather stress movement, creative play and social interaction at school, leaving other subjects for when they are most appropriate.

Comment Maybe not calories (Score 1) 170

Recent work and research seems to indicate that, no, it's not just an issue of thermodynamics through caloric content. Unfortunately, many of the top proponents and researchers are of the sensationalist and inflammatory type. (Like the UCSF dude who proclaims "Sugar is Poison!". 95% of the science and research is exactly correct, and very well done, but I just wish he would shut up because I think he hurts his own cause.)

Think of it this way-- you know what has lots of calories? Petrol. Will drinking hydrocarbons make you fat? So who cares if a burning doughnut changes water temperature the same amount as a crunchy shrimp roll (both around 500 kcal)? Eating each will have a different impact on metabolic reaction, and energy storage.

Comment Re:The big problem was VTOL (Score 1) 509

One thing complicating this is BRAC. There are F-16 wings that are maneuvering to try to get F-15s right now, even though the 15 is older and more difficult to maintain. What the 15 gives a wing is more flexibility. No one wants to be "air superiority and patrol" anymore since there isn't much need for that these days. And since 16s are limited in ground support capabilities, some people see the 15 as the only way to stay in business. Note that this isn't as much of a concern for the regular air force, who will mostly just shuffle people around, but has a massive effect on the air national guard.

So having a single jet that can do it all (ground attack, air attack, stealth, vtol, carrier, you name it) means that you won't be considered obsolete.

Comment Re:No more public education? (Score 1) 2247

The Dept. of Ed typically runs and coordinates special programs, and the funding for them. They are called by their Title # relating to what part of the policy they are under. Like Title 1, better known as No Child Left Behind these days, which is tied to funding for schools with significant low SES students. (Little known: if you don't take title 1 money, then you can tell the feds and the state to fuck off as far as the penalties for not meeting the requirements. Not done often, but I was at a site where we made the choice to refuse the money). There are other decidedly less sexy titles as well. The reality is that most public school do not take much money from the feds, the money they do take usually has restrictions, and often there is some ideological influence that the feds are trying to influence (see NCLB, abstinence only sex ed, etc.).

Comment Re:So do the libraries (Score 2) 191

This is misleading. The library keeps records of what you currently have checked out. My public and school libraries do not keep a record of what I have checked out in the past. Your library may differ, but the ALA officially vigorously defends individuals right to intellectual freedom, and that includes not tracking reading history.

Comment Or maybe not (Score 1) 496

Robots, due to the initial investment, may not turn out to be as cost effective as imagined. When Toyota opened their first plant in Japan in the last 18 years, they went for low cost of building the factory, and fast manufacturing times instead of complex robotics to minimize wages/benefits.

In an age where things like company agility is valued, and start-up capital (including commercial lines of credit) is very limited, I'm not sure that robots are going to beat humans on price any time soon.

Comment Sad all around, people and sport (Score 1) 338

The air races have always been risky. Everyone knew that very well. Think about what would happen if every auto racing mishap resulted in sharp acceleration until collision with some other solid object. There have been crashes and deaths in the past, but this is really tragic as most mishaps happen far away from the grandstands.

It may be insensitive, but I'm actually most sad over losing another plane. For years there's been speculation that unlimited class racing's days were numbered. Not enough planes and parts, not enough pilots, not enough mechanics. But the unlimited class is what captures the imagination. Lefty in White Lightning, Hinton in the Red Baron, Tiger in Strega... I connected with the old warbirds and their pilots in ways that I kind of don't have words for right now.

I'm sad for the injured and dead, but I'm devastated over what feels like the end of an era.

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