Saturday, June 14, 2008

Chapéu de Indiana Jones

The hat that Indiana Jones uses is made in Campinas, Brasil by Chapéus Cury, near our family's home in Amparo... so I hope to go get one at the factory for my birthday...

Feel free to print these out and place them in your wallet or car... when you see someone who is wasting gas... just place it on their windshield and

Click here to download: Your Car is not an Air Conditioner!

Did you know that it is illegal to sit and idle your motor?
If you are sitting in your car for more than 30 seconds, then get out and PLEASE! Turn off your engine… go somewhere cool, your car is not an air conditioner!

Think about it…
1. Global warming
a. idling makes more smog
2. Air quality
a. Asthma is epidemic added pollution hurts you, your family and your neighbors
3. The war
a. there are thousands of people dying because of OIL
b. your consumption contributes to making more war
4. The price…
a. the more we use the more it costs!
5. PLUS! It is just bad for your car!

Idling your engine is wrong! A car is not an Air Conditioner!

On the economy...

Media Reformers: It's the Economy!
Saturday 14 June 2008 by: Michael Winship

Friday, June 13, 2008

That's right...

I'm voting republician! Click here to see why:

Marriage Equality Comes to California Next Week

"I'm wishing everyone well with their marriages."

-- California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger

Gender-based math gap missing in some countries

From Jerry Becker


From The Associated Press [USA Today], Thursday, May 29, 2008. See Abstract of this article appeared on the SmartBrief listserve,Monday, June 2, 2008. The whole original article in Science can beviewed at;320/5880/1164?maxtoshow=&HITS=10&hits=10&RESULTFORMAT=&fulltext=culture%2C+gender%2C+and+math&searchid=1&FIRSTINDEX=0&resourcetype=HWCIT


Gender-based math gap missing in some countries

WASHINGTON (AP) - Boys outperform girls on a math test given tochildren worldwide, but the gender gap is less pronounced incountries where women and men have similar rights and opportunities,according to a study published Thursday."In more gender-neutral societies, girls are as good as boys inmathematics," study author Paola Sapienza said in an interview.The issue of a gender gap in math has been hotly debated, with somesuggesting biology may be behind higher scores for boys on some testsand others pointing to environmental and cultural factors.Sapienza, a professor at Northwestern University's Kellogg School ofManagement, examined the results of boys and girls on the Program forInternational Student Assessment. That test is given to 15-year-oldsaround the world every three years.Among 40 countries studied, Iceland was the only one where girls didbetter than boys on the math test.In about a dozen countries, both sexes scored about the same. In manyof those places, like in Iceland, men and women have similaropportunities and rights, according to the study, which was publishedin the journal Science.To assess gender equality, Sapienza looked at several measures,including the World Economic Forum's Gender Gap Index, whichconsiders economic, educational and political opportunities for women.The United States fell in the middle of the pack in terms of bothequality for women and the gender gap in math.There are a few countries where girls don't have the sameopportunities as boys, but girls score about the same as boys on themath test, the report found. These included Indonesia and Thailand.There also are countries, such as Germany, where there is a lot ofgender equality but where a girl-boy math gap exists anyway. Thestudy did not attempt to explain such anomalies.The study was reviewed by a panel of outside experts.In reading, girls outperformed boys on the PISA exam in every countrystudied. That gap does not shrink but widens in places where womenare said to have a lot of equality with men."The math gap disappears, and the reading gap becomes even bigger,"Sapienza said.The study didn't look at the reasons behind those trends.Former Harvard University President Lawrence Summers ignited debateover gender gaps a few years ago year when he suggested innatedifferences between the sexes might help explain why comparativelyfew women excelled in science and math careers.The PISA exam is different from other tests in that it assesses howwell students can apply mathematical reasoning to real-worldsituations rather than testing their knowledge of math content.*************************************************

--Jerry P. Becker

Dept. of Curriculum & Instruction

Southern Illinois University

625 Wham DriveMail Code 4610

Carbondale, IL 62901-4610

Thursday, June 12, 2008

From Sen. Boxer's office:

Here's the latest from Dick Cheney: "All Americans can be grateful" that the global warming debate was derailed in the Senate.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Brasil Rising

Shock Jocks: Hate Speech and Talk Radio

Shock Jocks: Hate Speech and Talk Radio: America's Ten Worst Hate Talkers and the Progressive Alternatives (Paperback)
By Rory O'Connor, With Aaron Cutler BUZZFLASH REVIEWS

"Talk radio is one of America's most popular and influential media formats. In his book, Shock Jocks: Hate Speech and Talk Radio, Rory O'Connor reports on the shocking number of top radio talk show hosts who regularly spout hate speech over our public airwaves. This intriguing, eye-opening and hugely important work is a must read account of the dangers of blurring opinion, journalism and entertainment -- at the expense of our democratic discourse and ideals."-- Walter Cronkite, American broadcast journalist icon"

Rory O'Connor and Aaron Cutler, in this admirable example of whistleblowing, do for talk radio in our time what Upton Sinclair and George Seldes did for the press in their time. They expose, in devastating detail, how our hallowed right of free speech has been crippled by right wing domination of the air waves. They carefully analyze the phenomenon of talk radio -- its origins, its enormous power, its pretensions, its covert and overt agendas . But they also present alternatives that could restore some semblance of fairness to a marketplace of ideas so far dominated by corporate and military interests."-- Howard Zinn, author

"There is too much talk -- imbecilic, often hateful talk -- on much of talk radio, as this provocative book demonstrates. O’Connor and Aaron Cutler deliver a lively, well deserved punch in the nose to these powerful bloviators. "-- Ken Auletta, journalist and media expert

From the publisher:Written by veteran media critic and Emmy winner Rory O'Connor, Shock Jocks features unsparing profiles of the ten worst conservative radio talkers in America, including Michael Savage, Bill O' Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, Don Imus and the rest. Shock Jocks highlights the politicized and often factually challenged world of talk radio that dominates a sizable portion of America's airwaves, and shows how misogyny, racism, and utter contempt for other human beings is disguised as “free speech."

"Rory O'Connor is a noted media critic, documentary filmmaker, journalist, the president and cofounder of Globalvision, and the recipient of a George Polk Award, a Writer's Guild Award, a George Orwell Award, and two Emmys."

The following is an excerpt from Shock Jocks: Hate Speech and Talk Radio by Rory O’Connor with Aaron Cutler (AlterNet Books, 2008): Laura Ingraham is … different. Not only is Ingraham younger than many other conservative radio personalities (at 45, she’s more than a decade from Limbaugh’s cohort), and the only female among them, but she also brings to the airwaves a snarky brand of aggressive humor fused with an attack-dog sensibility that she expresses with a chalk-on-gravel voice. Her goal is not to assert her own glory, but to rip apart her enemies, which include everyone from liberals and “elites” to, from time to time, even President George W. Bush and presidential hopeful John McCain. Her style of argumentation is bare-bones simple; in a 1997 piece for, Eric Alterman wrote that Ingraham just laughed in response to a position he took on television during the 1996 election. How could he counter that?Ingraham often uses laughter as a weapon. One of her show’s most popular parodies, “But … Monkey,” interposes the sound of a screeching monkey over a sound bite from a political figure. Victims have included Democratic senators Harry Reid and Barbara Boxer as well as conservative gurus like columnist Charles Krauthammer. Other regular segments include “Deep Thought of the Day” and “Lie of the Day.” Ingraham also makes great use of pop culture clips (she plays the theme song from the television show “Flipper” when discussing John Kerry), and her production values are generally superb. Like many other successful hosts, she is often very funny, and her rapid-fire pacing and easy banter with her younger male producers (all three are in their early 20s) has more in common with the liberal “Stephanie Miller Show” than the hard-line commentary sometimes heard on conservative talk shows. At a deeper level, however, despite the comedy, Ingraham takes what she does quite seriously.

The rabid nature of her assault against immigration reform is a good example. Ingraham has perhaps been more strongly anti-immigration than any other talk personality except Michael Savage. Her show even features a regular segment called “The Illegal Immigration Sob Story” alert, in which she reads news pieces she feels are biased toward illegal immigrants. When she had White House spokesman Tony Snow on her program, she began by asking him why the Bush administration was dragging its heels on immigration reform. After sarcastically apologizing for interrupting his talking points, she said, “69 percent of Americans, 85 percent of the GOP, 55 percent of the Democrats want the border enforced. Does that affect you guys, or do you guys just blow it off?”In the two-for-one combination that all too often serves conservative radio well, Ingraham once claimed that the immigration bill was an attempt by the mainstream media to make more people liberals. Anyone who still wonders whether talk radio had an influence on the bill’s defeat should look at Ingraham’s numbers; with more than 5 million weekly listeners, she is tied with Glenn Beck as the fourth most listened to radio talk show host in America. Alterman wrote that Ingraham’s popularity is due to her having “something more important than knowledge or experience. … She has star quality.” She is also fearless: She once confronted CNN host John Roberts for calling her “outspoken,” saying, “Do you guys introduce liberal commentators that way?”

get this book:

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Stress Management Visualization - thanks Debbie

Just in case you are having a rough day, here is a technique recommended in all the latest psychological journals. The funny thing is that it really does work!

Picture yourself lying on your belly on a warm rock that hangs out over a crystal clear stream with both hands in the cool, fresh running water.

Birds are sweetly singing in the cool, pristine mountain air.

No one knows your secret place.You are in total seclusion from that hectic place called the world.

The soothing sound of a gentle waterfall fills the air with a cascade of serenity.

The water is so crystal clear that you can easily make out the face of t he person you are holding underwater.

See? It really does work. You're smiling (grimacing?) already

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Sen. Barack Obama and Rep. Mike Honda Introduce Bill to Make American Students More Competitive in Science Fields

Sen. Barack Obama and Rep. Mike Honda Introduce Bill to Make American Students More Competitive in Science Fields

Source: U.S. House of RepresentativesURL:

On May 22, Rep. Mike Honda and Sen. Barack Obama introduced a bipartisan bill in their respective chambers that will make America's students and future labor force more competitive in science-related fields. The bill was introduced at a time when other countries are gaining ground on America in science and technology fields.
Obama (D-IL) and Honda (D-CA) said this bill will help develop a coordinated strategy in the teaching of science, technology, engineering and math education, the fields collectively known as STEM. The "Enhancing Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Education Act of 2008" (H.R. 6104; S. 3047) will create mechanisms for federal agencies and the states to coordinate STEM education strategies.
"We need to focus our efforts in teaching the scientists and engineers of tomorrow," said Honda, a former science teacher and educator of more than 30 years. "Federal agencies unfortunately are not communicating among themselves. Current federal efforts in STEM education are neither coordinated, nor coherent, nor cooperative. This bill will create the mechanisms and venue for cooperative relationships to develop."
Obama added that economic competitiveness depends on sound education policies.
"We must ensure our nation remains a global leader in scientific advancement and technological innovation, and that begins with strengthening America's schools," said Obama. "Our students deserve the education and skills they need to compete in today's global economy and to understand the increasingly complex issues that face our democracy, and we must do everything we can to provide them with the resources and curriculum they need to succeed. This critical legislation will help students develop critical thinking and effective problem solving skills in science, technology, engineering and mathematics by coordinating federal STEM education efforts, consolidating federal education initiatives, and supporting states in collaboratively organizing their efforts. I am proud to introduce this legislation with Congressman Honda, and look forward to moving it forward in Congress"...
In 2006, the federal government sponsored 105 STEM education programs through 15 different federal agencies at a cost of $3.12 billion. Yet the following year, American students did poorly in a test offered world-wide that measures student proficiency in understanding and applying science. Microsoft's Bill Gates summarized the concerns when he said: "When I compare our high schools with what I see when I'm traveling abroad, I'm terrified for our workforce of tomorrow."Honda's and Obama's bill would:-- Reorganize the President's Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). OSTP has a STEM subcommittee that has remained largely dormant over the past few years. The bill would raise that subcommittee to a committee level, giving it a mandate to work proactively at designing coherent STEM strategies.-- Create an Office of STEM at the U.S. Department of Education at the assistant-secretary level. This office will coordinate STEM education initiatives among all federal agencies and have a seat at the OSTP STEM Committee.-- Institute a voluntary Consortium on STEM education. The Consortium would be integrated by no less than five states representing at least five of the nation's nine geographical regions. Its mission is to develop common content standards for K-12 STEM education, engineered at the state and local levels.-- Create the National STEM Education Research Repository. This would be a clearinghouse for educators to research the latest innovations in STEM. This will break the silos that keep creative programs from being replicated.
"Our nation's competitiveness in the global economy depends largely on our ability to graduate students who excel in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math," Ehlers said. "We must do all that we can as a nation to prepare students at every grade level so that they have a genuine interest and demonstrated skills in these fields. The jobs of tomorrow will require STEM education skills and our next generation of innovators will need them to succeed."
For educators, this bill promises to create tools and make available resources that are now scattered and isolated among federal agencies and the states."The Enhancing Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Education Act of 2008 will coordinate and enhance STEM education programs at the federal level and empower states to better address the critical needs in their STEM education systems," said Gerald Wheeler, Executive Director of the National Science Teachers Association. "We are pleased to support this legislation." As the American economy attempts to recover from a deep economic downturn, losing sight of longterm strategies to manage the economy can be risky, said Rep. Rush Holt.
"Scientists and educators should not be the only ones concerned about STEM education. Those who care about our long-term economic health and the ability of future generations to compete in a new global economy should be concerned," Holt said. "This legislation is part of our strategy to get STEM education back on track at a time when we can no longer afford to lose ground to our competitors."

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