tloh writes: Last Wednesday, City College of San Francisco, the largest community college in the US, was sanctioned with the loss of accreditation within a year by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges. The decision was made despite intensive efforts over several months to reform a number of issues raised during accreditation review the previous year. Most of those problems cited in the "Show Cause" status were administrative, organizational, or fiscal in nature. Interestingly, the value of this institution's quality of education and academic standards were never questioned. An enormous amount of discussion has been generated by both education insiders as well as community observers as this drama has unfolded regarding the legitimacy of the accreditation body involved. Bay Guardian journalist Tim Redmond distills some key concerns this affair has raised regarding the value of an education, the civil accountability of those who are supposed to rubber stamp it, and some ramifications for San Franciscans in a future without CCSF.
tloh writes: With the recent resignation of Rob "CmdrTaco" Malta from Slashdot, this community has reached a milestone of sorts. For those who've been paying attention, changes are indeed creeping through. For example, many more story submissions that make it to the front page are billed as by "first time submitters". Is what's to come and where we are headed going to be more cosmetic or more fundamental? Where do *you*, fellow Slashdoters want to go? This is your chance to tell those receiving the baton how to evolve this community to meet the needs of the future.
tloh writes: With the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 in theaters, many feel we have arrived at the end of a journey that J. K. Rowling started us on more than 16 years ago. Among those expressing their own farewells, Potter fan Mandy McAdoo has written an open letter to Rowling suggesting a prequel to flesh out the stories of the older supporting characters of the series. Might such an endeavor actually work, or would Rowling be demonized for the effort as Lucas found out by messing with a good thing?
tloh writes: A new exhibit at City Museum of Luxembourg is drawing attention to the reality of poverty with the help of a begging robot. Dutch artist Kaspar Koenig built the robot on the cheap, for less than $100 using scavenged computer parts and open source software. The design is based on a 2006 creation by Slovenian artist Sao Sedlaek. Elsewhere in the world, the wacky idea of a begging robot has also been executed in a form that is short on social awareness but long on cuteness.
tloh writes: In a hilarious incident of lax fact checking among news professionals, a German news program passed off some fictional STAR TREK fan art as the real emblem of the elite SEAL team that took out Bin Laden.
tloh writes: On the heels of a recent report warning that California may be next after the recent Japanese disaster, a number of practicing geologists are saying, not so fast. Echoing sentiments expressed here on slashdot:
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) earthquake geologist David Schwartz, who heads the San Francisco Bay Area Earthquake Hazards Project, concurred. "Simon Winchester is a popular science writer, not a scientist," Schwartz said. "I'm not saying we won't have an earthquake here in California at some point in the future, but there really is no physical connection between these earthquakes."