June 30, 2010

Clearing the bilges again

My inbox has hit a ridiculous number of messages at this point, and a number of them are links that I sent myself over the past few months intending to turn those links into full-fledged blog posts...instead, you get this...
  • The Worst Thing Voting - a blog was having a contest to find out what the worst thing any of their readers had ever done was.  The three finalists listed in this post are all horrific things to have done.  I never could get around what to write about this because all three acts are thoroughly deplorable.
  • No Value: The Mismeasurement of Teaching Quality - The ways in which schools and school districts are graded in Ohio is almost ridiculously complex, involving a number of different metrics, very few of which are as simple as the old system of indicators in which they measure to see if 75% of your students pass each subject test.  One of the more complex measurements is called Value Added and somehow measures how much improvement your district's/school's students have shown in the course of the year as compared to the improvement shown by students across the state.  The linked article certainly doesn't look at that measurement in a positive light.  My problem with writing this one up is two-fold.  First, it's a long article, and I'll admit that I've still only skimmed it.  Secondly, I don't, honestly see the teachers unions as being unbiased in this debate.  The unions protect teachers (me included) and tend to be very much against any possible way of measuring how well teachers are doing at their jobs, and I don't know that I'm that far against measurements of how I'm doing.
  • The Future of the Merch Table - This one tells of a new app that allows you to pay for something via credit card at places that don't accept credit cards.  I couldn't find anything really interesting to say here.  Should've dumped it into a weekend links post instead of letting it linger in my inbox this long (since May 16).
  • Microsoft Office 2010 full review - It's just what the title says: a full review of Office 2010.  Sounds like a good but not absolutely necessary upgrade from the 2007 that I have at home and at school.  Plus, pretty much everybody I know is going to slowly move over to the newer version of Office over time.  Why read about whether it's better or not?  We're going to use it eventually anyway.
  • 50 Greatest Lost Albums - I caught this article in a newsstand while The Girl and I were in DC and didn't get a chance to read the full article about albums that you can't go out and buy as their out of print, never released on cd, or simply deleted from the artist's catalog.  The choice and exploration of Time Fades Away by Neil Young at #1 was what I makes the article worthwhile.  I get tired of just posting a bunch of lists and going through them one at a time, so this post languished.  Plus, they're mostly British albums, anyway.
  • How We Became White People - The guy who writes the Stuff White People Like blog explores - in a light-hearted way - his status as an immigrant in this country.  Again, I just didn't have anything interesting to say other than "hey, this is chucklesome."
  • Science from the Sporran - The coincidence of how this came to me is ridiculous.  I'd had my students define a few terms on a worksheet, typical beginning of the chapter stuff.  The terms were in three columns of unequal length on the page, however, so I fancifully added in two terms to even things up: sporran and polytheism.  Also on the sheet was the term kinetic energy, and I'd shown my students a demo of an Astro Blaster (multiple bouncy balls falling together with the top ball gaining back all the kinetic energy and bouncing ridiculously high) and told them that the same could be done with a basketball and tennis ball.  Lo and behold, the next day, one of my students came in with this link which connected sporran and the basketball/tennis ball demonstration.  She'd assumed that my inclusion of sporran had a greater meaning and had gone a hunting the connection, finding these videos of a kilt-wearing man doing science experiments in a faux-1800's setting.
And now, the bilges are cleared, and the inbox is heading back down to a more manageable size...

1 comment:

calencoriel said...

A pic of a bilge rat would have been awesome!