Saturday, August 26, 2006

This Week's Recommended Reading #16

From Ash:

Here's a short list of pieces that I thought were worth reading. On the whole, it's a lighter, a little sillier list than usual, but my head's still spinning from all of the coverage about the Forbes piece – just when I'd finally calmed down from watching it – last night, my local news station did a live feed about it on the 11 o'clock news, and I got all upset all over again. I may have to take a look at some of the other research points he cited (Are you interested if I find anything?).

(By the way, the post-ASA convention, we're getting some more sociologists checking out the blog. You're very welcome, and please feel free to email / comment. I sincerely hope you enjoy what we're doing.)


In recent education news, California has already started worrying about the 54,000 seniors in high school who will not be graduating next year, because they can't pass the exit exam. The San Francisco Chronicle has a nice piece on this, explaining how the test affects students of different economic and ethnic groups, the disabled, etc. Not surprisingly, the poor, not-fluent in English and learning disabled are the ones who aren't passing. But it's nice to see the actual numbers. And if you're brave, those small graphics on the page – those are a couple sample questions from the exam: see how you do.

Meanwhile, AP reports that George Mason University, a public institute in Virginia, has become one of the first publics to dispense with the SAT. They join a growing list of schools (until now, private ones, though), dissatisfied with the testing, from what they see as flawed results to allegations of racial bias within the test itself.

These Kids Today

If you're wondering what these kids today are thinking, take a look at the annual Mindset report – which asks college freshmen what their life experiences have been with archaic devices such as a stamp. In other words, if you need to feel really old, this is a sure-fire way to do it.

Predators on the Internet? Britons Can Do Something About it

So you've been hit on in an instant message, but now what? Well, according to the BBC, if you're in the UK, and you think this isn't just an average slimeball, but could be a child predator, there's now going to be a button on the program (or something like that), that will let you report the offender.

Las Vegas – Weddings Require a Little More Planning

A word of warning from the AP, if you're planning a midnight run to Vegas to get married – the marriage license office is no longer running 24-hours. This could be an inconvenience, but on the other hand, it might just cut down on those "I got married by the doorman?" now-sober-shocked-in-morning-revelations. (Of course, I don't really know how much that happens when it isn't a sitcom. )

Burning Man

And just in case there are some of you who are packing up the hybrid, about to drive to Burning Man, the San Francisco Chronicle also has a fun little piece about how scientists will be examining the environmental impact of all those engines and bonfires, etc., and what they're trying to do about it.


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