caramida: (cold war)
2011-09-26 06:36 am

Happy Stanislav Petrov Day

Twenty-eight years ago today, we barely averted a global thermonuclear war. And by we, I mean Stan. This may sound trite, but remember today that one person can make a difference.
caramida: (Default)
2010-11-16 07:31 am
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It occurs to me that the students who today ask why their work wasn't graded over the weekend, are the same people who, ten years hence, will complain how teachers have it easy because they only work six hours a day.
caramida: (teacher)
2010-08-21 06:06 pm

Teachers have it so easy

Stealthcomic has a good calculation of the after-hours time requirements inherent in teaching.

I could do the math on what the overtime pay would be for all those extra hours that we're expected to put in, but I won't waste the time. Suffice to say that even those rare teachers that are making 100k a year* have earned their due, and perhaps more.

*chuckles and shakes head at the very idea.
caramida: (oaklandish)
2010-08-10 12:19 pm
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How it feels to be cool.

Forbes Magazine rates my town, Oakland, in the Top Five Coolest Cities in the US.

#1 was a tie between NY & Vegas
#3 went to Seattle (using a picture from the one sunny day they had last year)
#4 was taken by Chicago
#5 was Oakland.

Six through ten went to Orlando, San Diego, LA, and DC.

San Francisco didn't even rate.

(Technically, if you read the pop-up, they call it the SF-Oakland statistical area. Even so, an editor decided to choose Oakland over her sister on the far side of Goat Island.)

In your face, peninsulares!

Ok. I'll admit, Forbes isn't exactly an arbiter of cool, and their rankings don't really mean much of anything anyway, but a guy's gotta have something. I'm constantly trying to defend my town from folk who claim Oakland isn't safe enough, or cool enough, or cultured enough.
caramida: (politics)
2010-06-09 05:59 am
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Proposition Results from CA Secretary of State

State Ballot Measures - Statewide Results

98.2% ( 22,479 of 22,894 ) precincts partially
or fully reporting as of June 9, 2010, at 5:43 a.m.
Visit their County Reporting Status page to determine if a county has submitted a final report or returns.

Proposition TitleYes
Yes13 Property Taxes and Seismic Retrofit of Buildings3,155,33384.5%581,30515.5%
Yes14 Primary Election Participation2,050,39854.2%1,735,59645.8%
No15 California Fair Elections Act1,575,14742.6%2,115,04057.4%
No16 Local Electricity Providers1,800,20547.4%1,993,05352.6%
No17 Auto Insurance Pricing1,820,33647.8%1,980,24852.2%
caramida: (teacher)
2010-05-09 01:57 pm

Waiting for Superman

The winner of the Audience Award at this year's Sundance Film Festival was Davis Guggenheim's Waiting for Superman. This film is a documentary following the stories of five families across the country as they try to find the best schools and opportunities they can for their children. The film discusses some of the challenges our nation faces as we continue to let schools fail, and hopefully brings some ideas for fixing the problem. The film does feature Jeffrey Canada's work in Harlem, which holds some promise, for sure.

Waiting for Superman is not out yet; apparently still waiting on a distributor. Nonetheless, They released the trailer yesterday. You can find it here.

If you want to share your reactions to the trailer, feel free to do so here. I'd love to hear from you.
caramida: (constitution)
2010-03-30 10:41 pm
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caramida: (Default)
2010-02-08 04:47 pm
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Follow Monday - Warthog Rugby

[ profile] warthog_rugby is a feed for a local Oakland kids rugby team. The blog talks about the benefits of kids rugby, and explores some of their travails in trying to get the City of Oakland, and/or OUSD to allow them a place to play.

I enjoyed the posts I got to read, and I look forward to seeing the future exploits of Coach Spencer and his team. Though I'm not a rugger myself, I am a big fan and supporter of student extracurricular activity in its myriad forms.
caramida: (teacher)
2010-01-29 07:44 pm
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iPad in Education

Wanted: Someone who can help me figure out what I need to turn an iPad into a teaching appliance. I have a nebulous list of features in my head (including running in-classroom A/V switching and management), and I'd love to see it put into practice. I just don't have the tools or knowledge to implement this.

Anyone game?
caramida: (teacher)
2009-09-29 07:20 am
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caramida: (teacher)
2009-09-26 09:59 am

You can almost imagine him saying, in Russian, "I'm not even supposed to be here today."

Many people forget that some of the coldest days of the Cold War weren't all that long ago. Late September of 1983 was fifteen weeks after the opening of WarGames, a movie that seems quaint now, but was scary at the time, and less than 60 days before we were all scared out of our wits by The Day After. They were making Red Dawn at the time.

Just three weeks after the Soviets shot down a South Korean 747 with hundreds of US Citizens aboard, while the US and the USSR were still mortal enemies, deep in a of the Soviet Air Defense bunker, Lieutenant Colonel Stanislav Petrov saved the world.

Na zdorovia, Colonel Petrov. Spasibo.

One of these days I want to tell his story in class. I wonder if a 'This Day in History' or 'Five Minutes in History' would be a neat way to introduce stories from the past to my students. Also, would five minutes every few days take away from the other curriculum I need to impart?

caramida: (fraggle rock)
2009-09-12 05:06 pm
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Wow, that's some tasty pie!

Chicken pot pie, peppery and nice, with a crust so close to perfect you can smell it from there.

Thank you, Alameda Pie Truck!
caramida: (hero)
2009-07-26 09:23 am

Cost of health care?

[using the House MD icon, because though I don't have an economics icon, I do have one with a medical bent]

Economics is about the distribution of goods and services, with the intent that this distribution be as efficient as possible. The major mechanisms for this involve the manipulation of supply and demand, or rather the idea that supply and demand will adjust themselves to come to an equilibrium where the system is efficient (generally, economists' goal is maximum efficiency).

[ profile] bradhicks offers a reasonable suggestion that artificial restrictions on the number of graduating MDs serve to increase the cost of health care in the US. Leaving aside his class-based points of argument regarding the motivations behind this restriction (valid tho' they may be), the fact remains that our population has grown by 50% without a concurrent rise in the number of doctors. It stands to reason that, given rising demand, a constant (not rising) supply of MDs will command a higher price on the market, thereby causing an increase (perhaps one of several causes) in healthcare cost. Brad's post is worth checking out. I'm not sure his answers are all the answers, but it makes for an illuminating thought experiment.
caramida: (Default)
2009-07-11 01:01 pm
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Submitted for your approval... entirely charming song about emotional blackmail.

We miss you, Uncle Shelby.
caramida: (politics)
2009-07-11 11:23 am
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Ideology versus Reality

Jeb Bush interview in Esquire on Health Care: "Under Obama, we're going to create a system that's not focused on quality; it's focused on access to care."

As opposed to now, where we have a system that's not focused on quality; it's focused on maximizing shareholder value. Both quality and access suffer.

When did we ever have a system focused on quality?
caramida: (politics)
2009-05-07 04:36 pm

The Tea-bagger's Paradise!

59 seconds long, and a hoot.

caramida: (sorry)
2009-05-01 06:49 am

Oh, Joe Biden, no!

Each of these clips are pretty short.

There are some things that are perfectly ok to say if you're not vice-president.

Oh well, he's no Dan Quayle or Bingo Bob Russell.

Also, Robert Gibbs is no C.J. Cregg...

caramida: (portrait)
2009-04-30 04:23 pm
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Hey there, Curly Girls!

(no longer)[Not Erica filter]

(Taking a short break from the final miles of the old thesis marathon.)

I want to do something nice for Erica (actually, several things, but this is one of them). She really wants a haircut, but she is wary of what some SuperCuts yahoo (for example) might do to her hair, and she doesn't know who she can trust among the many stylists out there.

Can anyone offer recommendations for AWESOME stylists? Money is no object (more or less, this is a big gift), but I am looking specifically for someone in the Bay Area who does curly hair exceptionally well. Would be great if they were also NO-POO positive, and generally Curly Girl Approved. There's got to be somebody, right? Six million people in the BA, and somebody has to be doing curly!?

Can I get some recommendations? I'd like to surprise Erica with a Card and a Reservation, especially if I can get it before Erica's folks come out west.

Also: Incidentally, someone out there on the nets has my copy of Lorraine Massey's Curly Girl, but I don't remember who. Does anyone know?

Ok. Walk around a bit, and then back to the thesis. I'm on the final stretch. I can see the finish line from here.
caramida: (politics)
2009-04-28 06:34 am
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At this point, Dellums can no longer be viewed as benign.

Chip Johnson, the SFGate Oakand correspondent runs a reasonable list of grievances against Mayor Dellums (masked as a comparison with Berkeley's Bates: Dellums should take some cues from Mayor Bates.

So really, upon reading this I'm wondering if we should be deciding between two unpalatable choices. Do we wait for another 19 months of this while Mayor Dellums fails to prevent the city falling around our ears, or do we recall a public servant who had a distinguished career with an ignominious end?
caramida: (Default)
2009-04-21 08:09 am
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I think Paula Dean would approve.

The folks at Geekologie offered these as a visual wake-up this morning.

via the tasty folks at plime.