May 31, 2010
Picture below the fold for the faint at heart. This is a crying shame, Preston Burpo's a nice guy.
May 30, 2010
I also got rid of my TV, fuck TV's too (unless you're using them for movies or serious console gaming, and it's gotta be pretty damn big), my new desktop has a nice big screen and a TV tuner if I ever get cable again. Got a nice set of speakers for it too, I'm blaring my good sized and ever growing collection of 80's mp3s on it right now. This thing is awesome, I don't have to wait for it to do anything.
Samantha repeatedly screams "Bite me!" to an angry mob of religious men, while also giving them the finger.Well, I'm sure that the audience will get a kick out of Samantha screaming at and giving the finger to whatever non-denominational group of religious men the reviewer is talking about.
May 27, 2010
No pshop there, guys. Seriously, can you imagine what this kid's going to be like in 20 years? Comfortable with guns, chain-smoking, has a tantrum if he's not indulged. All he needs is a white shirt, a black suit, a thin black tie, and a straight razor.
They're no Montblanc 149, but they're nice looking and writing knockabout pens. They have a wider selection of rollerball and ballpoint pens if you prefer. If nothing else, they make for a reasonably priced token business gift or "I have no fucking clue what to get you" gift.
May 25, 2010
I'm also thinking that most morons interested in women are thankful that our First Lady isn't as multilingually skilled.
May 23, 2010
"I thought I’d see that on the Lower East Side. I think that’s fabulous!" he said. "It’s a beautiful penis." The Post reporter wonders if this is appropriate for children's eye level. "It’s New York. Kids have seen worse," the stylist says.Of course they have. In New York, kids are exposed to hideous penises almost every day.
May 20, 2010
Remember when the other kids would tease you and you'd react so they kept doing it because it was just so damned fun to fuck with you?
Think about it.
Second, I did not know that Costner's blown $40 million of his own money on various enviro things. You know what? We're always bitching about the environuts lecturing The Little People on what we have to do while they go jetting around (I'm looking at you Gore). It appears that Costner's actually putting his money where his mouth is. Good for him.
I still think he's an enormous tool. But I'm not automatically going to mock this. If it works? Good!
May 19, 2010
Back in in 2007 I pointed out that the education industry had not kept up with technological developments; that it wasn’t taking advantage of technology to deliver the best possible product.
Two areas that I specifically mentioned were customizing education to the needs of the end user and utilizing constant feedback techniques to insure that material is being delivered and learned to the fullest extent possible.
Second the ultimate customer for the project, will have to be heavily involved in the process. For example Boeing needs Aeronautical Engineers. To really get the type of engineer that they want they would need to lay out a set of skills that they feel are important. From there it would be necessary to backtrack to the courses which develop those skills, and a curriculum would need to be developed. From there textbooks would need to be written and labs developed. On and on continuing up the chain until a comprehensive program had been developed.
Once that process has been completed it is necessary to deliver the required knowledge to the student. Most of the pieces are already in place. Lectures can be developed and delivered via pod cast or youtube (The open courseware project and iTunes university are already doing some of this). Reading assignments can be emailed out. Textbooks and other course materials can be placed on Wikibooks. The two major sticking points as I see it are labs and a feedback mechanism.
Feedback is the easiest - IM, Email, Phones, Blog Comments, all those offer a feedback loop. Testing is another method. Here we have to be careful though. We want the test to be both fair and applicable as well relatively secure. In other words we don't want a bunch of multiple choice questions floating around on the internet that a student can memorize to get a passing grade, but we want the test to really measure knowledge. Part of this problem can be solved by the use of adaptive testing.
Adaptive testing is a method of testing that adapts to an examinees knowledge level of a subject.
CAT successively selects questions so as to maximize the precision of the exam based on what is known about the examinee from previous questions. From the examinee's perspective, the difficulty of the exam seems to tailor itself to their level of ability. For example, if an examinee performs well on an item of intermediate difficulty, he will then be presented with a more difficult question. Or, if he performed poorly, he would be presented with a simpler question. Compared to static multiple choice tests that nearly everyone has experienced, with a fixed set of items administered to all examinees, computer-adaptive tests require fewer test items to arrive at equally accurate scores. (Of course, there is nothing about the CAT methodology that requires the items to be multiple-choice; but just as most exams are multiple-choice, most CAT exams also use this format.)
Apparently someone was listening because the NYC Public School System is experimenting with exactly this type of system, as described in this Freakonomics article from the NY Times.
The School of One tries to take advantage of technology to essentially customize education for every kid in every classroom and help teachers do their job more effectively. That is of course a daunting task — and perhaps, some might argue, unnecessary — but the amount of thought and analysis that have so far gone into the program is impressive. Furthermore, the enthusiasm it has generated from people like Duncan and Klein make it a program to watch. And the early results are promising.
You’ll hear about School of One’s conception, its potential pitfalls, and most of all how it works day-to-day. You’ll spend some time in a classroom in I.S. 339 in the Bronx, hearing from kids like Lionel (at right), whose daily “playlist” — in this case, his math lessons — are chosen in part by an algorithm that is designed to learn how Lionel learns best.
And you’ll hear how Chris Rush and others track and analyze the schoolwork that Lionel is doing to make sure he’s not just doodling away his time (like Levitt did in the third grade).
I'll be interested to see how this all plays out. I don’t think it will be the panacea for America’s education woes but I do think it has potential, especially the idea of addressing individual learning styles.
(There is a podcast associated with this article that is worth listening to. On a similar subject I have mentioned the Intelligence Squared debates before. They had one a few months ago regarding the damage the teachers unions were doing to education. It is worth a listen also.)
(And, yes, of course, this post is evidence of the right wing's propensity for violence.)
May 18, 2010
On a related note; Blizzard restored my old account today, my faith in humanity is partially restored. I don't know if Alex's intervention had anything to do with it or not but thanks for the effort at least. M
Motivated by this episode I have to decided to right the wrongs in the world (of warcraft) and sent in my resume for the account services rep position that they have open.
Update: I finally got logged in and now I have a dilemma. When the account was stolen my highest level character was a level 77 hunter (Colgallon on Bael'gun if anyone is on that server). Whoever stole the account got him up to level 80 and upgraded about half the gear purple. He also acquired a lot of honor marks (1200 or so) but he stripped my bank and left me with 66 silver and destroyed my pet, Doggie a level 76 boar that I had had since 10th level and replaced him with a wasp. Arguably I am better off now than I was but do I keep the levels and unearned gear or do I ask a GM to roll me back and restore the gold, as I recall I had about 4700 GP. I couldn't afford cold weather flying yet.
May 17, 2010
May 16, 2010
Oh, and let me warn you: if you walk out the first time you see him, you just might not be the gal for him.
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