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Comment Re:Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everyth (Score 1) 203

Last Chance to See by Douglas Adams. Great book written with his humor, but a serious subject. It's a spinoff from the BBC radio show he did. A good way of inspiring associated conversation.

Prometheans in the Lab: Chemistry and the Making of the Modern World. Slightly harder read but absolutely fascinating stories from teenage up

Betrayers of the Truth: Fraud and Deceit in the Halls of Science. Not difficult to read, but a great piece of work on how people like Ptolemy, Mendelev, Newton 'cheated' science.

Comment Re:D Stover is not convincing (Score 1) 626

The whole thing is just a stupid statement to come out with. Currently, at the moment, no. In 500 years, we better figure out how to burn rocks if we're not going to running the planet off renewables. The bigger questions are what are we defining as renewable energy, at what point of the social-infrastructure evolution timescale does it need to be covering our asses 100% and If we can't cover ourselves 100%, how much of the population needs to die off.

Comment Re:Differing learning styles (Score 1) 690

If you don't mind I'm going to suggest an adjustment to your statement. The school structure is more deliberately aligned with the girls style of learning at this moment. As a parent of a 6 year old boy, it is glaringly obvious that current US education at his level is targeted towards the non-disruptive pupils, mainly girls. My sons 1st grade teacher understands that boys are boys and puts it down to different learning styles and maturity. We had a hell of a time with his kindergarten teacher who wanted to claim him ADD and have him tested (we refused), but admitted that his intelligence resulted in good grades. The kindergarten teacher targeted away from kinetic learning and thus away from the majority of boys, who were all considered defocused ... er hello, lowest common denominator? I understand that there has been a desire to teach to girls, to improve academic acceptance of girls, which I applaud, but I worry that the pendulum swings and boys are being assumed that they will now adapt to a system of learning that does not fit with their general personality.

Comment Re:Real funding problem, or Washington Monument? (Score 1) 35

That's interesting, a couple of years ago Washington State did the same thing, - please pass these taxes and the schools get cut. Here in Washington folks didn't vote for any tax increase and then the following year wondered why there was a major funding issue for schools. Guess some people call the bluff, or there's an actual reason for statements like that.

Comment Re:laws (Score 1) 1127

Assuming your work has a good (read sensible) harassment policy, you will be fine. If not get one in place ASAP.

Your harassment policy should point out that the law doesn’t prohibit simple teasing, offhand comments, or isolated incidents that are not very serious. Also, there is no harassment if your coworker over hears something which is not meant to be heard by her and is not about her. "Harassment is illegal when it is so frequent or severe that it creates a hostile or offensive work environment" (quoted from our policy).

If you are really asking how do we condition ourselves not to make loud, off-hand comment constantly, you all need to call each other out in a SERIOUS manner. Do not joke, just speak up and say " I believe that's inappropriate" then offender apologizes and tries very hard not to be called out again.

You all may think this is really dumb, but look at it from two angles. (1) Does your company want to get sued, sorry that's what lawyers do especially in the US (2) Pick something you don't like about yourself, say you have some weight on you, and then have someone call you 'lardass' and comment how they'll need two chairs for you to sit on, or we shouldn't to fast, so you can keep up. Have them comment on how being fat doesn't allow you to do your job properly etc. and have them do it constantly. Then tell me if that's a fun place to work and I'll tell you that they're just teasing, and where's your sense of humor?

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