Education About Education

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”



Today a little education about education.

First I’ll crunch some numbers, as I like to do.

4,726 = the number of colleges and universities United States.

$589 billion =  the amount spent by students annually.

Of that figure,

$393 billion = tuition fees, and

$196 billion = expenses like travel and housing.

538% = the percentage increase of the cost of a college education over the past three decades.

4.5 = the number times more expensive it is to go to college today than it was back in 1985, even allowing for inflation.

So is the cost worth it?

Does the education system make sense?

The vast majority of Americans never even consider these important questions. They are fixated on their kids going to college – end of debate.

Whether they have the ability or not, or whether it is the right career path for them or not, if the parents can afford it and/or the kids can get a student loan (which they usually can) then they go to college.

But there is a heavy cost to pay, as we have just seen above. By the time they graduate 70% of students are lumbered with a loan balance averaging $28,400. Nationwide in the US, student loan debt now sits at a staggering $1.2 trillion, which is nearly 50% higher than all the outstanding auto-loan debt, and almost double credit card debt.

student loan debt

While it is true that college graduates have more opportunities to earn more than those without a degree, the number of those good paying jobs is limited. Most college graduates have to settle for a lot less that they were planning for when they started that expensive college education.

What is often forgotten is that there are many other opportunities out there in the workplace for someone who spends their time and money learning a trade or a skill. A friend of mine who is a plumber earns many times more than many of his contemporaries with college degrees and office jobs.

In fact, since more and more young Americans are turning their noses up at manual type jobs and opting for expensive colleges, there will soon be a shortage of essential trades such as plumbers, electricians and so forth, making those jobs even more lucrative than they are now.

Food for thought for the future perhaps.





The Final Fabulous Fasab Fact Day – For April, That Is!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”


April is drawing to a close, but not before another selection of fabulous fasab facts.

Here’s the latest random bunch to improve your knowledge.

Hope you enjoy.


did you know1


There are more possible iterations of a game of chess

than there are atoms in the known universe.




Tim Duncan of the San Antonio Spurs sacrificed money

and stayed in college four extra years

instead of going directly to the NBA

because in her last days his dying mother made

him promise to graduate college with a degree.

(Good on you Tim!)




England’s King George I

was actually German.

King George I



A study conducted by Swiss University

showed that stockbrokers

are more reckless and manipulative

than diagnosed psychopaths.




In his youth, Andrew Johnson apprenticed as a tailor.

Even as president, he never stopped making his own suits.

Andrew Johnson



There is a point in the middle of Chile’s Atacama Desert

where rain has never been recorded.

Scientists call this region “absolute desert”.




Lord Byron kept a pet bear

in his college dorm room.

Lord Byron



If you eat a polar bear liver, you will die.

Humans can’t handle that much vitamin A.

polar bear



Dead people can get goosebumps.




Kim Jong Il wrote six operas.

Kim Jong Il



Our eyes are always the same size from birth,

but our nose and ears never stop growing.




The top layer of a wedding cake,

known as the groom’s cake,

traditionally is a fruit cake.

That way it will save until the first anniversary.

top layer of a wedding cake



Princeton researchers successfully turned a live cat

into a functioning telephone in 1929.

cat telephone



The ship, the Queen Elizabeth 2,

should always be written as QE2.

QEII is the actual Queen.




If you do not have a child,

you will be the first in your direct lineage,

all the way back to beginnings of human history,

to do so (or not, as the case may be!)

having a child



More Random Samples From The Fasab Fact File

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”


If its facts you want we have them!

So here is another selection.

If you can’t find something you don’t know in here then you know far too much.



did you know3


“Kemo Sabe”, the name Tonto called The Lone Ranger

means “Soggy Shrub” in Navajo Indian.

The Tonto in Spanish means “a fool”.

Lone Ranger and Tonto



Ketchup was sold in the 1830’s as medicine.




Killer whales have such a good sense of touch

that if you dropped a pill into a bucket

and feed it to the orca

it would eat the fish and spit out the pill.




Kleenex tissues were originally used as filters in gas masks.




Knitted socks discovered in Ancient Egyptian tombs

have been dated back as far as the 3rd century AD.

Oh mummy!

knitted socks



Larry Lewis ran the 100 yard dash in 17.9 seconds in 1969,

there by setting a new world’s record

for runners in the 100 years or older class.

He was 101.




5% of Canadians don’t know the first 7 words of the Canadian anthem,

but know the first 9 of the American anthem.

Canadian Anthem


7% of Americans don’t know the first 9 words of the American anthem,

but know the first 7 of the Canadian anthem.

American Anthem



85,000,000 tons of paper are used each year in the U.S.




99% of the solar system’s mass is concentrated in the sun.




There is a company in Taiwan makes dinnerware

out of wheat, so you can eat your plate.

wheat dinnerware



About 70% of Americans who go to college

do it just to make more money.

(The rest are just avoiding reality for four more years.)




America once issued a 5-cent bill.

5 Cent Bill



The Aztec emperor Montezuma had a nephew named Cuitlahuac,

whose name meant “plenty of excrement.”

Now there’s revenge for you!




Clans of long ago that wanted to get rid of

their unwanted people without killing them

used to burn their houses down

– hence the expression “to get fired.”




Donald Duck comics were banned from Finland

because he doesn’t wear pants

– the little pecker!




Marijuana is not as chemically addictive

as is nicotine, alcohol, or caffeine.

One of the reasons marijuana is illegal today

is because in the 1930’s cotton growers lobbied against

hemp farmers whom they saw it as competition.




Special playing cards were issued to British pilots in WWII.

If captured, they could be soaked in water

and unfolded to reveal a map for escape.




The three best-known western names in China are

Jesus Christ, Richard Nixon, and Elvis Presley.

Nixon and Elvis



Lady Astor once told Winston Churchill,

‘If you were my husband, I would poison your coffee’.

To which Churchill replied,

‘If you were my wife, I would drink it’.

Astor vs Churchill




Even Dumb And Dumber Are Beginning To Look Reasonably Smart

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”


“Education is light, lack of it darkness.”
–Russian proverb


Teaching is a great vocation and a vitally important one for society. It’s a pity that the politicians didn’t realize that and devote a bit more of their time and our money towards improving the salaries of the teachers and raising the level of education of the pupils.

I know a lot of people would say what use is learning stuff like history or economics or having to read some high-brow literature in which you have little or no interest. But learning is, or rather used to be, about discovering how to think, how to retain information and how to apply what you have retained in other situations.

In other words developing a bit of common sense and the ability to think you way out of or around problem situations. The brain is like a muscle, the more exercise it gets and the more you use it the more efficient it becomes.

Sadly, we have reached the intolerable stage where, instead of the logical progression of standards being set just a little bit higher each year, the very opposite is occurring. Educational standards are dropping every year, and not by a little either.

Exam passing statistics have become a worthless joke. University degrees have been similarly devalued.

Nowadays, if you’ve got money and no brains you’ll get all the degrees and qualifications you want. If you got brains to burn and no money then the educational establishments don’t want to know you. If you get anywhere you have to rely on getting a scholarship to a good school, or working two or three jobs to gather up the money.

A few years ago I was having a meal with a Professor of mine from University days. “How are things with you?” I asked casually as you do, expecting to hear the standard answer like “Fine, what about you?”.

But instead I got a heartfelt reply that went like this.

“Things are terrible,” he started. “The kids these days don’t seem to want to learn anything. They, or their parents pay a lot of money to send them to college and they just don’t seem to care any more. Thank goodness I have only a few more years to go until I can retire. It’s just not the same any more. You have no idea how the standards have dropped. There is no comparison to when you were there.”

On further inquiry I found out that it was not just the kids, the Universities themselves were partly to blame. Everything now was money driven. There were not the same government assistance programs, the standard of the students being accepted was declining rapidly, very few of them even had the basics of a good education any more and the emphasis was on attracting overseas students, many of whom could only speak a little bit of English and could write even less –  because the fees the Universities could charge them were a lot more than for the indigenous variety.

If you think about it, it is a self-defeating spiral downwards. Teaching standards get lowered  –  students get a poorer education  –  some of them become teachers themselves  –  they know less than their predecessors  –  their pupils therefore can only learn less  –  some of them become teachers  –  etc., etc., etc.

I’m wondering now if it can actually reach the stage where nobody knows anything, but when I think about some of the stuff in this blog, maybe we’re already getting close, too close???

Need more proof?

Try this lot of answers from the British GCSE. This is an examination given to sixteen year olds, who by that age should know at least the basics of things. Judge for yourselves from these answers (the spelling mistakes are all theirs):



Ancient Egypt was inhabited by mummies and they all wrote in hydraulics. They lived in the Sarah Dessert and traveled by Camelot. The climate of the Sarah is such that the inhabitants have to live elsewhere.



The Bible is full of interesting caricatures. In the first book of the Bible, Guinessis, Adam and Eve were created from an apple tree. One of their children, Cain, asked, “Am I my brother’s son?”



Moses led the Hebrew slaves to the Red Sea, where they made unleavened bread which is bread made without any ingredients. Moses went up on Mount Cyanide to get the ten commandments. He died before he ever reached Canada.



Solomom had three hundred wives and seven hundred porcupines.



The Greeks were a highly sculptured people, and without them we wouldn’t have history. The Greeks also had myths. A myth is a female moth.



Actually, Homer was not written by Homer but by another man of that name.



Socrates was a famous Greek teacher who went around giving people advice. They killed him. Socrates died from an overdose of wedlock. After his death, his career suffered a dramatic decline.



In the Olympic games, Greeks ran races, jumped, hurled the biscuits, and threw the java.



Eventually, the Romans conquered the Greeks. History calls people Romans because they never stayed in one place for very long.



Julius Caesar extinguished himself on the battlefields of Gaul. The Ides of March murdered him because they thought he was going to be made king. Dying, he gasped out: “Tee hee, Brutus.”



Nero was a cruel tyranny who would torture his subjects by playing the fiddle to them.



Joan of Arc was burnt to a steak and was cannonized by Bernard Shaw. Finally Magna Carta provided that no man should be hanged twice for the same offense.



In midevil times most people were alliterate. The greatest writer of the futile ages was Chaucer, who wrote many poems and verses and also wrote literature.



Another story was William Tell, who shot an arrow through an apple while standing on his son’s head.



Queen Elizabeth was the “Virgin Queen.” As a queen she was a success. When she exposed herself before her troops they all shouted “hurrah.”



The French Revolution was accomplished before it happened and catapulted into Napoleon. Napoleon wanted an heir to inherit his power, but since Josephine was a baroness, she couldn’t have any children.



The sun never set on the British Empire because the British Empire is in the East and the sun sets in the West.



Queen Victoria was the longest queen. She sat on a thorn for 63 years. She was a moral woman who practiced virtue. Her death was the final event which ended her reign.



The nineteenth century was a time of a great many thoughts and inventions. People stopped reproducing by hand and started reproducing by machine. The invention of the steamboat caused a network of rivers to spring up. Cyrus McCormick invented the McCormick raper, which did the work of a hundred men.



Louis Pasteur discovered a cure for rabbis. Charles Darwin was a naturalist who wrote the Organ of the Species. Madman Curie discovered radio. And Karl Marx became one of the Marx brothers.



It was an age of great inventions and discoveries. Gutenberg invented removable type and the Bible. Another important invention was the circulation of blood. Sir Walter Raleigh is a historical figure because he invented cigarettes and started smoking. And Sir Francis Drake circumcised the world with a 100 foot clipper.



The greatest writer of the Renaissance was William Shakespeare. He was born in the year 1564, supposedly on his birthday. He never made much money and is famous only because of his plays. He wrote tragedies, comedies, and hysterectomies, all in Islamic pentameter. Romeo and Juliet are an example of a heroic couplet. Romeo’s last wish was to be laid by Juliet.



Writing at the same time as Shakespeare was Miguel Cervantes. He wrote Donkey Hote. The next great author was John Milton. Milton wrote Paradise Lost. Then his wife died and he wrote Paradise Regained.



The First World War, caused by the assignation of the Arch-Duck byan anahist, ushered in a new error in the anals of human history.



During the Renaissance America began. Christopher Columbus was a great navigator who discovered America while cursing about the Atlantic. His ships were called the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Fe.



Later, the Pilgrims crossed the ocean, and this was called Pilgrim’s Progress. The winter of 1620 was a hard one for the settlers. Many people died and many babies were born. Captain John Smith was responsible for all this.



One of the causes of the Revolutionary War was the English put tacks in their tea. Also, the colonists would send their parcels through the post without stamps. Finally the colonists won the War and no longer had to pay for taxis. Delegates from the original 13 states formed the Contented Congress. Thomas Jefferson, a Virgin, and Benjamin Franklin were two singers of the Declaration of Independence. Franklin discovered electricity by rubbing two cats backwards and declared, “A horse divided against itself cannot stand.”. Franklin died in 1790 and is still dead.



Soon the Constitution of the United States was adopted to secure domestic hostility. Under the constitution the people enjoyed the right to keep bare arms.



Abraham Lincoln became America’s greatest Precedent. Lincoln’s mother died in infancy, and he was born in a log cabin which he built with his own hands. Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves by signing the Emasculation Proclamation. On the night of April 14, 1865, Lincoln went to the theater and got shot in his seat by one of the actors in a moving picture show. The believed assinator was John Wilkes Booth, a supposedly insane actor. This ruined Booth’s career.



Meanwhile in Europe, the enlightenment was a reasonable time. Voltaire invented electricity and also wrote a book called Candy.



Gravity was invented by Issac Walton. It is chiefly noticeable in the autumn when the apples are falling off the trees.



Johann Bach wrote a great many musical compositions and had a large number of children. In between he practiced on an old spinster which he kept up in his attic. Bach died from 1750 to the present. Bach was the most famous composer in the world and so was Handel. Handel was half German half Italian and half English. He was very large.



Beethoven wrote music even though he was deaf. He was so deaf he wrote loud music. He took long walks in the forest even when everyone was calling for him. Beethoven expired in 1827 and later died for this.