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Back At It

Posted by Ogged
on 11.27.14

Two new links in the Michael Brown case. The full news interview with Darren Wilson is now online. I have my impressions, but I'd like to hear what everyone else thinks.

And pbs broke the witness testimony into a pretty handy chart. It would have been even better to include each witness's vantage point, but it's helpful nonetheless.



 

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Thanksgiving

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 11.26.14

Have yourself a little listen. Due to technical difficulties, we're no longer streaming from Jammies' server, but it's all pretty much the same.

Or chat about food and family and what you're thankful for, or what you're whiny about, or what have you.



 

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ژیان جان، چی‌ کردی؟

Posted by Ogged
on 11.26.14

Hey, Canada gives a shit. Jian Ghomeshi arrested and charged.



 

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Guest Post - Myopia in Chinese Kids

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 11.26.14

lw writes: Speaking is innate, but writing is technology. Different writing systems interest me, especially Chinese, which I cannot read. Here is an article about myopia and Chinese writing, with an amusing exercise embedded.

Here is one of the single characters translated as "voluptuous". Here is a comparison of writing styles.

Heebie's take:
1. Reading about children developing myopia actually kind of made my eyes hurt. My eyes with otherwise* perfect vision, didja know. Because I had a real childhood.

2. The comparison of writing styles would make a lovely poster, if one popped it in a frame.

*Stupid arguments with kids: Hawaii telling me that it's actually "otherways" not "otherwise", and that her teacher told her so.



 

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Work

Posted by Ogged
on 11.25.14

A band you've probably heard of notes their tour income and expenses. Pretty interesting stuff.

Finance. Make sure your kids go into finance.



 

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Yeshivas

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 11.25.14

J, Robot sends along A Yeshiva Graduate Fights for Secular Studies in Hasidic Education. Basically Naftuli Moster went to college and was shocked to discover how pathetic his secular education had been. He's fighting for public schools that offer a Hasidic education to be held accountable for providing a secular education.

(This part is kind of funny:

Today, instead of black trousers, a white shirt and a broad, black hat, Mr. Moster wears V-neck sweaters and plaid button-down shirts. He still considers himself "very Jewish," but that's not how many ultra-Orthodox Jews see him. Once, he said, on the subway, a Hasidic mother instructed her son to "stop looking at the goy" -- the non-Jew. She was talking about Mr. Moster.

...Either it was the V-neck sweater, or maybe it was because Mr. Moster looks like a blond Swede in a yarmulke.)



 

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Michael Brown

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 11.24.14

Ferguson (lack of) indictment to be announced today?



 

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Some silly fun

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 11.24.14

1. What your choice of drink says about you. List your drink of choice (mostly liquor and mixed drinks) in the comments before clicking through to see how you're being judged.

2. Boring premise but jesus christ, these funniest text messages are actually the funniest. Avocado? (Via Tia elsewhere)



 

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Developing an ear

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 11.24.14

Rivka, (of ling ago Respectful of Otters, usually blogs about homeschooling here) writes about how she has departed from mainstream techniques for teaching kids to write essays.

Of all our homeschooling practices, writing instruction is where I've differed most from the modern educational standard. As I understand it, in a standard elementary school children are expected to produce large quantities of expressive writing, starting in kindergarten with "journals" composed with inventive spelling. One local parent told me that children in her son's kindergarten class were writing full paragraphs by the end of the year. The reams of writing continue, most of it on the topic of personal experiences. The five paragraph essay format, which I learned in seventh grade, is now apparently expected beginning in third grade.
In contrast, we did... none of that. Alex copied well-formed sentences, and later took dictation from them. She listened to passages of material and summarized them verbally. She studied spelling and the formal grammar of sentences. And above all else, she was exposed to well-written books. She read them herself, and I read aloud from books that were more complex. It was a complete departure from how her friends in public school were learning to write, and it made me very, very nervous at times. In third grade, supposedly five-paragraph-essay time, Alex began writing the occasional short paragraph. Very occasional. They were short and excruciating for her to write. I tried my best to keep trusting the method.

She includes an essay that Alex has written as a fourth-grader.

Now, first, clearly Alex is an incredibly bright kid in general, so my suspicion is that she'd be writing beautifully under most forms of instruction. But Rivka's method underlines something we've talked about here before, often with regards to struggling college students: if they don't have an ear for the English language, they get slaughtered in college. (I don't mean foreign students who have an ear for a different language so much as American students who haven't read enough books.)(There's a similar fluency in math that just comes from exposure, not necessarily sophistication - does a quadratic polynomial set off lots of associations for you about parabolas and factoring and finding roots? Or did you learn that stuff, but find it hard to retrieve it spontaneously?)



 

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Unique communities

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 11.23.14

E. Messily sends in this article about the gay wing of the LA men's central jail. Apparently it's unique in the country to have the population and inclination to establish such a wing.

The article starts off a little too excitedly about the salacious lives of LBGTQ men, but then becomes much more matter-of-fact about really the interesting details, like how much safer this wing is, and why the climate created by the inmates and guards is one of nurturing and nonviolence.



 

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