Five myths about church and state. A lot of these “five myths” are kind of questionable in their conclusions, but they almost always have some interesting background information in them.

I think that culturally and politically, we have greater things to worry about than the death of cursive. Cursive was devised in part to save time. Now it’s slower than typing. It’s largely redundant. And is difficult to read when people write sloppy. And since people spend more time typing than writing, they write sloppy.

Mitt Romney’s health care plan (which served as a blueprint for President Obama and the PPACA) was supposed to save money by cutting down on ER visits, but it hasn’t, presumably because insurance has lead more people to seek ER care that they might have declined otherwise. Likewise, wait lists to see general practitioners are up. As long as we have the shortage of primary care docs, the system is going to be hard-pressed to reduce reimbursements. They can choose their own patients. Also, “fear of lawsuits” is mentioned as a cost-driver for ERs. Another issue, though, are demanding patients/parents.

In kind of a creepy story, the New York Times interviewed a Neo-Nazi who was killed the following week by his son, also interviewed, who was showing off his new soon-to-be murder weapon the day before.

Man gets injured riding ATV on a defunct theme park’s property. Man sues theme park property owner. Man wins theme park in judgment.

Brits try to understand why we’re upset about our low gas prices. Low, of course, compared to theirs. We sort of wonder why they’re so okay with it.

Drunkeness is again a legal defense of criminal activity in Canada. This goes to the root of a conflict in law enforcement. Sometimes the law is served best by imprisoning people that are arguably not accountable for their actions. Whether drunkenness falls into this category is up for debate, of course, but if being drunk means you can’t consent to sex, why would you still be responsible for your actions? At the same time, though, someone that gets drunk and rapes people needs to be put away.

Austin, Texas, is looking at sweeping changes to improve performance, including more hours, “teacher accountability”, and an extended school year if they can scrounge up the money. Some are suggesting that the longer hours mean that this is just another sign of schools-as-daycare. To some extent, perhaps, but when it comes to failing schools, I am all in favor of trying new things. Our school days and school years are pretty short, by international standards. And for a lot of these kids, there really are worse places that they can spend their time.

Schools are considering banning chocolate milk over added sugar. I am of a mixed mind on this. On the one hand, it’s the lesser of a few evils. On the other hand, added sugar. I lean more towards the former, not making perfect the enemy of the good. It seems to me that a solution might be leaving students with the choice of chocolate skim or unflavored 2% or something like that.

War dogs! More war dogs! War studs!


Category: Newsroom

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4 Responses to Linkluster XXXVIII

  1. Mike Hunt says:

    I can’t believe I forgot to reply to this post, since it has multiple topics of interest. Luckily I read another article about cursive that jogged my memory.

    I think that cursive was about half of the 2nd grade curriculum when I was in school, the other half being fractions, coincidentally enough. I still think it has its place in school. It helps to teach fine motor skills, and we still haven’t figured out a better way to make signatures. I seem to remember that the “proper” way to write a capital F was changed just before I learned to write cursive, and the teacher made a big deal about doing it the new way. Sort of like how between 4th and 5th grade, they invented a new way of dividing fractions.

    I don’t buy the whole excuse that some people just have poor penmanship naturally. They are just being lazy. If you were told at your job that if you didn’t write your reports in perfect cursive that you would be fired, you would find a way to do it.

    In school, I think we were required to use cursive from 3rd through 6th grades. In 7th I switched to printing, and no one complained.

    As for chocolate milk, I have never been able to drink any sort of white milk at any time in my life. The taste repulses me, and there is no good reason why a human should be drinking the milk of another animal.

    In elementary school (up to 4th grade) we were allowed to bring milk money, and the school would provide us with milk in the middle of the morning. It never occured to me to keep a stash of chocolate syrup to make it more palatable, but I don’t know if that would have been allowed, anyway.

    In high school a milk came with lunch, and chocolate was available, so it worked out well. In addition, we could buy orange drink, so I would get that as well.

    Now, why was chocolate milk available in HS but not in elementary school? Maybe they thought the kids would be too wired if they had chocolate milk at a young age…

  2. trumwill says:

    I don’t buy the whole excuse that some people just have poor penmanship naturally. They are just being lazy.

    Some people can be lazy and still write well. Others, when they’re lazy, write chicken-scratch. So I think there is an element of natural disposition involved.

    As for chocolate milk, I have never been able to drink any sort of white milk at any time in my life. The taste repulses me, and there is no good reason why a human should be drinking the milk of another animal.

    I assume you’ve ruled out lactose intolerance?

    Now, why was chocolate milk available in HS but not in elementary school?

    My guess is that they grant more autonomy to the high schoolers.

  3. Mike Hunt says:

    Yes I understand that handwriting will come easier to some than others. However, most anyone can write neatly if they put the time and effort into it. I will grant you there are some who are absolutely hopless no matter how much they work at it, but they should be treated as the rare exception, not as a reason to get rid of the whole system.

    No I’m not lactose intolerant. I enjoy cheese, and enjoy milk in cereal and in coffee. I just can’t drink it by itself out of a cup. Just thinking it about it gives me the shivers. I feel the same way about tomatoes; I can eat them in a burger, and I like ketchup and tomato sauce, but I can’t bite into a plain tomato.

  4. trumwill says:

    But what purpose does the system serve anymore? Our methods of communication have changed. Having two ways to hand-write seems unnecessary to me.

    I’m with you on tomatoes, except I’ll take it a step further when it comes to sliced-on-sandwich… that’s a no-go for me, too. But tomato sauce? No problem at all.

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