Today I was reading a thread on Reddit where users were pointing out what incorrect detail in a movie really bothered them. I found out that NASA uses the movie Armageddon in their training program. They don’t use the movie because of its awesome accuracy; it’s actually used for the opposite reason.
The movie is used to show the trainees what not to do. In an exercise, the hopefuls have to point out all of the inaccuracies in the film. It turns out that that there is nearly 170 impossibilities over the course of the movie, averaging out to more than one per minute.
The author then goes on to criticize Michael Bay for the remainder of the article. I personally like the film and I can’t claim that I’m watching it to learn about the proper way to blow up an asteroid, so the inaccuracies don’t bother me too much.
Kudos for going all year without writing a paper or structuring a debate on the legalization of marijuana. Well done! Now that we’re wrapping up the year, I figure I can finally open that can of worms…
Legalize drugs. Forbes seems like an unlikely publication to put forth such a piece, which makes this argument all the more compelling in my eyes. (Find the article here.) The economics of it seem simple enough: drug legalization (or, at the very least, marijuana legalization) would reduce prices, reduce revenues, and in turn reduce violence. I’ve posted a few links before on the violence plaguing this continent with the US/Mexico led war on drugs (specifically the violence in Mexico and Honduras), so I won’t repeat any of that. This may sound selfish, but I just want to go back to Mexico! A good friend of mine from Veracruz, Mexico now lives in Monterrey and I dare not go visit him. I’ve been to some sketchy and dangerous parts of the world, but drug cartels are one thing with which I do not want to mess around. My last trip to Mexico was a trolley ride from San Diego to Tijuana (how romantic, right?) in 2009, and even then the violence plaguing the city was terrifying. Men walking the streets in full body armor and carrying assault rifles were common. Since then things have only gotten worse. With the end of Felipe Calderon’s term coming nearer, I have hope that Mexico will soon end it’s hopeless crackdown on drug cartels and peace can be restored to the galaxy. I mean country.
This page contains a 8th grade teacher’s open letter to her students regarding standardized testing. She discusses her new found information about the standardized tests in her state, and why she believes they are so backwards.
This entire article made me sad. From what I know, schools that perform poorly on standardized test receive less funding than those that perform well. To me, that seems like the schools that are already performing well will continue to do so, while schools that do poorly will also stay the same because of forced budget cuts, less wages for teachers, etc. Then, that forces teachers to only teach to the test throughout the entire year, instead of doing possibly more productive or inspiring things. And, from what I learned from that article, even the test is focused on “tricking” the students.
I don’t know if I’m not well enough informed or don’t fully understand the system, but that seems so backwards to me. I guess there has to be a way to make sure some sort of unified learning is taking place, and the teachers are all performing well, but there has to be a better way. The entire situation is upsetting and I’ve noticed it has . Comment and let me know how you feel about the subject.
This article I came across today gave me a good laugh. If I’m going to order cheap delivery pizza late at night, I’m almost always going to order it online. Domino’s especially gives you a pretty intense amount of options. The writer of this blog post put those options to the test to see if they would really honor which half you want which topping on, and if they will give you a naked pizza.
The results ended up pretty interesting, and produced probably the saddest looking pizza I’ve ever seen. This article is from 2007 though, so the system has probably been tweaked a bit since.
One of the latest tumblr sensations is “Texts from Hillary.” It depicts Hillary Clinton, the Secretary of State, engaging in ridiculous text conversations with other high profile people. Regardless of how you feel about the Madam Secretary, it’s a pretty humorous site. As this article states, the tumblr has taken her from being labeled a “bitch” to “head bitch in charge.”
I find it interesting how the site has personified her so much and, as a result, boosted her popularity. Hillary Clinton, for some reason or another, has always been a polarizing figure. She’s like economics: you either love it or hate it. The media has also taken notice of the site. Hillary Clinton herself just recently met with the founders of the tumblr page (which was only started a week ago!) I’m not sure if that was the creators’ intentions, but it sure has helped Clinton’s image. Now I really want to meet her!
Here’s another TED talk video I thought you all might enjoy, it’s an interesting analysis of our growing dependence on technology. Find it here.
Here’s another interesting article on CNN about the recent release of Instagram in the Android marketplace. Many iPhone users (myself included) are pretty upset about this; Instragram now lacks its exclusivity which once made it so appealing. Is this an overreaction? I’d say definitely, but an interesting one nonetheless. The article quotes a CNET editor as saying “‘the most remarkable takeaway of this phenomenon, I think: that which smartphone we own has begun to inform our identities.'” Does your phone make up part of your identity?