Friday, May 10, 2013

Education Here And There

Actual 4th Grade Science Quiz At A South Carolina School 
 Read more at Snopes

I first encountered the unbelievably stupid quiz pictured above HERE on one of my favorite science blogs, Bad Astronomy, written by By Phil Plait.

Phil Plait, the creator of Bad Astronomy, is an astronomer, lecturer, and author. After ten years working on Hubble Space Telescope data and six more working on astronomy education, he struck out on his own as a writer. His two books are Bad Astronomy: Misconceptions and Misuses Revealed, from Astrology to the Moon Landing "Hoax" and Death from the Skies! These Are the Ways the Universe Will End. He has also written dozens of magazine articles and 12 bazillion blog articles. He is a skeptic and fights the abuse of science, but his true love is praising the wonders of real science.

Phil Plait


My maternal grandparents were both born during the late 19th century on farms in the low hills of Southern Indiana, near the Ohio River which is the Indiana/Kentucky border. The farm folks in that region had a peculiar dialect all their own. Regular nouns and proper nouns that ended in an "uh" sound, such as "Indiana" were pronounced instead with an "ee" sound: Indian-ee Therefore, my grandfather's name, Otha, became "Oth-ee" while his wife (my grandmother) whose name was Huldah, was called "Huld-ee" and Aunt Ada answered to "Aid-ee." You get the idea, right?

Well, anyway, these were deeply religious Christians and loved to read me Bible Stories when I was an innocent, trusting, naive little child, and my one of my favorite stories was titled Noah's Ark, which, of course, they pronounced, "Noh-ee's Ark" -- which to my tiny tot's untrained ear was rendered as "Noise-Ark" and that made perfect sense to me since I imagined a boat filled with bleating, squealing, trumpeting, and roaring animals would be deafeningly loud with NOISE indeed.

Believe it or not, for most of my youthful years, this Bible Story remained always, to me, Noise-Ark.



On this day, May 9 in 1924, J. Edgar Hoover was named acting director of the Bureau of Investigation (now the FBI). By the end of the year he was officially promoted to director. This began his 48-year tenure in power, during which time he personally shaped American criminal justice in the 20th century.

Hoover approved of illegally infiltrating and spying on the American Civil Liberties Union. His spies could be found throughout the government, even in the Supreme Court. He also collected damaging information on the personal lives of civil rights activists, including Martin Luther King, Jr.



parable [pehr-uh-buhl]
a short allegorical story designed to illustrate or teach some truth, religious principle, or moral lesson.
a statement or comment that conveys a meaning indirectly by the use of comparison, analogy, or the like.

A parable is a succinct story, in prose or verse, which illustrates one or more instructive principles, or lessons, or (sometimes) a normative principle. It differs from a fable in that fables use animals, plants, inanimate objects, and forces of nature as characters, while parables generally feature human characters. It is a type of analogy.



Nancy Walker
(May 10, 1922 - March 25, 1992)
 Nancy Walker was an American actress and comedienne of stage, screen, and television. She was also a film and television director (most notably of The Mary Tyler Moore Show, on which she also made several acting guest appearances). During her five-decade long career, she may be best remembered for her long-running role of Ida Morgenstern, who first appeared on several episodes of The Mary Tyler Moore Show and later became a prominent recurring character on the spinoff series Rhoda.

Gary Owens
(born May 10, 1936)
Gary Owens is an American disc jockey and voice actor. His polished baritone speaking voice generally offers deadpan recitations of total nonsense, which he frequently demonstrated as the announcer on Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In.

Ellen Lauri Ochoa
(born May 10, 1958)
Ellen Ochoa is a former astronaut. Ochoa became the first Hispanic woman in the world to go to space when she served on a nine-day mission aboard the shuttle Discovery in 1993. She is the current Director of the Johnson Space Center. Ochoa became director of the center upon retirement of the current director, Michael Coats, on December 31, 2012

Fred Astaire
(May 10, 1899 - June 22, 1987)
Fred Astaire (born Frederick Austerlitz) was an American film and Broadway stage dancer, choreographer, singer, musician and actor. His stage and subsequent film career spanned a total of 76 years, during which he made 31 musical films. He is particularly associated with Ginger Rogers, with whom he made ten films.


"In science, 'fact' can only mean 'confirmed to such a degree that it would be perverse to withhold provisional assent.' I suppose that apples might start to rise tomorrow, but the possibility does not merit equal time in physics classrooms."
--Jay Gould

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