Education About Education

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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education

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.

FoodForThought

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Should We Let The Tail Continue To Wag The Dog?

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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They say that nothing is free and in America that is certainly true as regards freedom of religious beliefs.

If you are a Christian, that is.

If you are a Muslim, or a Hindu, or a Sikh, or a Buddhist, or even an atheist, the constitutional protections of your civil rights will be upheld and fought for by all and sundry. Silly looking people will hold up even sillier looking signs supporting your point of view.

silly protest sign

If you are a Christian, however, you will find you only have the freedom to do what minority groups dictate, not what conforms to your religious beliefs.

Aaron and Melissa Klein, the owners of a mom and pop bakery they call ‘Sweet Cakes By Melissa’, found that out a while ago when they refused to bake a wedding cake for a lesbian couple in 2013. They have been ordered by the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industry (BOLI-cks for short) to pay $135,000 in damages to the two lesbians for “emotional suffering.”

It makes me wonder if Donald Trump will launch a similar suit against Macy’s for the “emotional suffering” he has been caused by Macy’s refusing to sell his merchandise? I would imagine for a man with that kind of ego the “emotional suffering” would be substantial, at least a billion dollar’s worth, I reckon.

Apparently in Oregon, and probably in other states, it is now illegal for a business to refuse to serve someone because of their sexual orientation. Most probably the same applies if you are of a particular race, color, or religion. However, there is no equivalent law to protect the religious beliefs of business owners.

sweet cakes_closed_sign

Now I could care less whether you are a lesbian or a Presbyterian, that’s not the issue here. The issue is that you can’t have a law that protects one sector of the community at the expense of another. More to the point you can’t have a ridiculous legal system that is both unfair and illogical.

But you do.

And it’s getting worse.

Just as the Freedom Act took away more freedoms than it gave, the government is stealthily and overtly eroding the individual citizen’s right to live their lives as they want to and as their beliefs dictate.

Sure you have to have rules, like don’t murder people, drive on the correct side of the road, and that kind of thing otherwise there would be chaos. But trying to control and micro-manage every thought and action of the people, which is what the government is now about, is both unnecessary and unwanted.

Big Brother control room
Big Brother control room

I’m now wondering what happens if you come into my gun shop and I don’t like the look of you and refuse to sell you a gun or other weapon. Am I within my rights? Or can you sue me for the “emotional suffering” of not being able to kill your family or hold up a bank?

Or can I sue you if you own the gayest cake shop in America but refuse to serve me because I am a Christian? That would be an interesting one in the light of the Oregon decision.

What happens if you are a Christian lesbian? What sort of “emotional suffering” does that cause? And can you sue yourself for damages? I’m sure there’s a judge somewhere stupid enough to grant you a big payout, but of course you would have to pay it to yourself, unless the state would step in because of your sexual orientation and cough up the cash for you.

You see where this is going?

deliberate dumbing down of America
deliberate dumbing down of America

Just as they wrecked the education system in many western countries by teaching the brightest people in the school at the same pace as the dumbest, thereby lowering the level of education of everyone and churning out a multitude of idiots who can barely read, or write, or count, now we have to pander to every minority no matter how few people they represent and no matter how much their minority beliefs offend our own.

Minority rights don’t really matter to the government because they don’t make up enough of the population. If and when the need arises minorities can be brought to heel. The majority is a different matter though and what has been discussed in this blog post is all part of the dumbing down of society and instilling fear in anyone from the majority community who dares to stand up and challenge authority. The threat of a  six figure fine, or worse, ensures compliance in most people.

My old late lamented friend George Carlin summed it up so well when he said, “Governments don’t want well informed, well educated people capable of critical thinking. That is against their interests. They want obedient workers, people who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork. And just dumb enough to passively accept it.”

Protection of minority rights in a society is one thing – and a good thing – and should be defended at all costs. But it should be done for the right reasons AND it should be in addition to the rights of the majority, never at their expense.

Otherwise you might as well throw out the “all men are created equal” bit of the constitution and just let the tail continue to wag the dog.

dog-tail

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November’s Quizzes Begin Here.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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First Monday of November and the first quiz of November.

It may be a different month but the format remains the same. Twenty random questions to test you general knowledge.

And as usual, if you get stuck, you can find the answers waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay down below, but please NO cheating!

Enjoy and good luck.

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quiz 05

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Q.  1:  How are you related to the sister-in-law of your dad’s only brother?

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Q.  2:  There has been a TV series and a movie named “The Equalizer”, which actors played the leading characters in each?

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Q.  3:  What are the names the capital city of New Zealand and its most populous city and on which island are they situated? (A point for each correct answer.)

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Q.  4:  If a doctor gave you 5 pills and asked you to take 1 pill every 30 minutes, how many hours would it take you to consume all the pills?

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Q.  5:  In what country was the game ‘Chinese Checkers’ (or ‘Chinese Chequers’) invented?

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Q.  6:  What are the three main types of Whiskey, defined by how they are distilled?

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Q.  7:  Where were the first modern Olympic Games held?

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Q.  8:  If 5/8 of the children in a school are boys and the school consists of 2400 students, how many girls are there?

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Q.  9:  How many meters, yards or feet are there in a ‘nautical mile’?

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Q. 10:  ‘Marble’ is a form of which type of rock?

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Q. 11:  Where would you find a chicken’s ‘oysters’?

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Q. 12:  In what US city was the original TV series ‘NCIS’ based, and what are the locations for the two spin-off series? (A point for each correct answer.)

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Q. 13:  A related question to the previous one, what do the letters ‘NCIS’ stand for?

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Q. 14:  Approximately what proportion of the continental land mass is located in the Northern Hemisphere?

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Q. 15:  Which chemical element has the highest melting point at normal pressure?

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Q. 16:  What artist was famous for his paintings of matchstick men?

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Q. 17:  What is the study of birds called?

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Q. 18:  What metal, often used by sculptors, is an alloy of copper and tin?

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Q. 19:  What is produced by the rapid expansion of atmospheric gases suddenly heated by lightning?

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Q. 20:  Finally one for all you vintage gamers, where did you find cherry strawberry orange apple grape bird?

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ANSWERS

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Q.  1:  How are you related to the sister-in-law of your dad’s only brother?

A.  1:  She’s your mom.

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Q.  2:  There has been a TV series and a movie named “The Equalizer”, which actors played the leading characters in each?

A.  2:  Edward Woodward in the TV series and Denzil Washington in the recent movie.

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Q.  3:  What are the names the capital city of New Zealand and its most populous city and on which island are they situated? (A point for each correct answer.)

A.  3:  Wellington is the capital of New Zealand and Auckland is its most populous city with approximately 1.4 million inhabitants. Both are situated on the North Island.

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Q.  4:  If a doctor gave you 5 pills and asked you to take 1 pill every 30 minutes, how many hours would it take you to consume all the pills?

A.  4:  2 hours. You took the first pill as soon as the doctor gave them to you.

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Q.  5:  In what country was the game ‘Chinese Checkers’ (or ‘Chinese Chequers’) invented?

A.  5:  Germany (in 1892, called Stern-Halma, a variation of earlier American game Halma.

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Q.  6:  What are the three main types of Whiskey, defined by how they are distilled?

A.  6:  They are ‘Scotch’, ‘Irish’ and ‘Bourbon’.

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Q.  7:  Where were the first modern Olympic Games held?

A.  7:  They were held in Much Wenlock, Shropshire, England in 1850 and annually for a while afterwards, inspiring the Athens Olympiad of 1896 and the Olympic movement. (You get a point if you said ‘England’ and three points if you knew the exact location.)

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Q.  8:  If 5/8 of the children in a school are boys and the school consists of 2400 students, how many girls are there?

A.  8:  900 (If 5/8 of the children in a school are boys, then 3/8 of the children in that school are girls. (5/8 + 3/8 = 1) 3/8 of 2400 = 3/8 * 2400 = 900)

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Q.  9:  How many meters, yards or feet are there in a ‘nautical mile’?

A.  9:  A nautical mile is a unit of distance that is approximately one minute of arc measured along any meridian and by international agreement has been set at 1,852 metres exactly, or approximately 2,025 yards or 6,076 feet.

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Q. 10:  ‘Marble’ is a form of which type of rock?

A. 10:  Limestone.

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Q. 11:  Where would you find a chicken’s ‘oysters’?

A. 11:  Chicken Oysters are two small, round pieces of dark meat on the back of poultry near the thigh. Some regard the “oyster meat” to be the most flavorful and tender part of the bird, while others dislike the taste and texture.

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Q. 12:  In what US city was the original TV series ‘NCIS’ based, and what are the locations for the two spin-off series? (A point for each correct answer.)

A. 12:  The original NCIS TV series was set in Washington DC and the spin-off shows are set in Los Angeles and New Orleans.

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Q. 13:  A related question to the previous one, what do the letters ‘NCIS’ stand for?

A. 13:  They stand for ‘Naval Criminal Investigative Service’.

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Q. 14:  Approximately what proportion of the continental land mass is located in the Northern Hemisphere?

A. 14:  Approximately two-thirds.

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Q. 15:  Which chemical element has the highest melting point at normal pressure?

A. 15:  ‘Tungsten’ is the chemical element with the highest melting point, at 3687 K (3414 °C, 6177 °F)[4] making it excellent for use as filaments in light bulbs. The often-cited carbon does not melt at ambient pressure but sublimes at about 4000 K; a liquid phase only exists above pressures of 10 MPa and estimated 4300–4700 K.

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Q. 16:  What artist was famous for his paintings of matchstick men?

A. 16:  Laurence Stephen Lowry, better known as ‘L.S. Lowry’ (Nov 1st 1887 to Feb 23rd 1976).

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Q. 17:  What is the study of birds called?

A. 17:  The study of birds is called ‘Ornithology’.

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Q. 18:  What metal, often used by sculptors, is an alloy of copper and tin?

A. 18:  Bronze.

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Q. 19:  What is produced by the rapid expansion of atmospheric gases suddenly heated by lightning?

A. 19:  Easier than you thought, it’s ‘thunder’.

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Q. 20:  Finally one for all you vintage gamers, where did you find cherry strawberry orange apple grape bird?

A. 20:  Pac Man. Want to have a go?

http://www.knowledgeadventure.com/games/pac-man/

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I Can’t Stand X-Rays. They Go Right Through Me.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Some people feel the same way about puns.

I hope that doesn’t include you though.

So here are some more to….

Enjoy or endure!

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rofl

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I didn’t know how to spell “plagiarized”

so I copied and pasted it.

copy and paste

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A foreign lady at the market held

two pineapples up to me yesterday and said

“I give you two for one sir”.

It seemed like a fair swap, but unfortunately

I didn’t have a pineapple on me.

pineapples

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I got a luxury prize for using the correct

punctuation mark to denote ownership.

It was a posh trophy.

Apostrophe

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Whenever I go on a long country ramble,

I always take a good reliable compass with me.

You just never know when you might need to draw a circle.

compass

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Postman knocked on my door the other day and asked,

“Is this letter for you? The name is smudged.”

I said, “No, It’s not for me, my name’s Smith.”

Postman-Pat

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Went to a funfair the other day and saw that

the sign advertising it was missing the first F.

That’s just unfair.

Unfair

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A new book out today:

the Korean canine training manual

50 Ways to Wok your Dog

cook-with-a-wok

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“But, Holmes, what kind of rock could be formed

by deposition and consolidation of mineral and organic material

and from the precipitation of minerals from a solution?”

“Sedimentary, my dear Watson.”

Sedimentary, my dear Watson

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I tried to order some tennis balls

off the internet last night

but the site kept crashing.

Must be having problems with their server.

tennis ball

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A new Muslim version of Playboy is being published.

The model for the centerfold has just been unveiled.

Sila Sahin first Muslim to pose for Playboy

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I was going to make a herb garden the other day,

but I just haven’t got the thyme.

Indoor-Herb-Garden

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I failed Geography at school.

I couldn’t find the exam room

exam room

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Have you noticed that prison walls

are never built to scale.

prison walls

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I was on holiday in Spain when a friend  phoned me.

“How’s the hotel?” he asked.

“Well, I can’t complain, “ I replied.

“Oh, that’s good then,” he said.

I said, “No, it’s terrible! I just don’t speak the lingo.”

no hablo espanol

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A guy is climbing to the top of Mount Everest.

He has two steps to go when one of them notices

the heel on his right shoe is a little loose,

yet he decides to continue.

At the next step, the heel comes off and

the guy goes tumbling down the mountain.

As he goes by, he passes a couple of climbers.

First climber: Think we should help him?

Second climber: No, as he was going down

I heard him singing

“You picked a fine time to leave me, loose heel.”

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BREAKING NEWS: Repair Man Wanted.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Nothing broken here though, you’ll be glad to hear.

So let’s get on with a bit more word play that you love to….

Enjoy or endure!

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rofl

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What did Salvador Dali have for breakfast?

A bowl of surreal.

salvador-dali-apparition-visage-compotier-plage

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There’s a bloke in Hungary who goes round from door to door

trying to convert people to Zen philosophy.

He’s a Buddha pest.

zen_buddhism_philosophy_and_mysticism

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If an Earl is awarded an O.B.E,

does he become an earlobe?

earlobe

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My mum’s got this weird fetish for sleeping with boxing gloves.

Her doctor thinks it’s just the menopause setting in,

but I just think she’s going through a rocky patch.

rocky

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Do you think the name for the head

of the Indian Mafia is ‘Poppa Don’?

Poppadoms

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My girlfriend asked me the other day,

“Dave, why do you always walk in front of me?”

I said, “I’m sorry, I don’t follow you.”

man walking in front of woman

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There’s a monster under my bed,

that plays loud music and dances around.

That damn boogieman.

 

boogie man

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I entered my dog in the redneck version of Crufts last week.

She won “Best Inbreed.”

redneck-dogs

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A man went to the doctor and said,

“I’m sick and tired of finishing crosswords so quickly!”

He said, “Try not to get two down sir.”

crossword

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I went to a fancy dress competition

dressed as Winston Churchill.

I thought my costume was great,

I had the hat, the suit, the bow tie, everything!

When I asked them whether I’d won,

they said I was close, but no cigar.

Winston Churchill

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I was in Wal Mart buying batteries today.

I asked the assistant if I would be better buying re-chargable

batteries or just get the cheapest and change them often.

“There’s positives and negatives with both,” she told me.

batteries

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My school has a really bad drugs problem.

Especially class A

a variety of drugs

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I was stopped by a policeman and

asked if I could identify myself.

I looked in the mirror and said,

“Yes officer, it’s definitely me.”

Looking In Mirror

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My wife said to me,

“Tonight, in bed, you can do anything you want”.

So I invited my secretary over.

secretary

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I’m in love with an eel

– that’s a moray.

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Stonehenge Rocks!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Yeah, Stonehenge rocks!

So does Pun Day!!

As always….

Enjoy or endure!!!

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rofl

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Deaf people are lip reading as we speak.

lip-reading

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In school, my teacher asked me if I

had any of my own maths equipment.

“I have a broken abacus,” I replied.

She said, “That doesn’t count.”

abacus

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I’m a puppeteer –

I had to pull a lot of strings to get the job.

puppeteer

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My friend happily announced recently that,

after 18 months of hard work and determination,

he had lost over 130 pounds of unhealthy useless fat.

He divorced her.

fattyfatbutt

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Want to pull a Jewish girl?

Just show them some interest.

Jewish girl

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A woman walks up to a handsome man

in a nightclub and shouts, “Fat penguin!”

“Pardon?” he says, looking bemused.

“Sorry,” she replies. “I was just trying to

think of something that would break the ice.”

cartoon Fat penguin

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Being unemployed definitely has its benefits.

unemployment benefit

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I always get chutney and pickle mixed up.

It makes me chuckle.

redbellpepperchutney

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My mate asked if I wanted to

play electric shock monopoly.

I jumped at the chance.

monopoly

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Yesterday I accidentally swallowed some food coloring.

The doctor says I’m OK,

but I feel like I’ve dyed a little inside.

food coloring

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My mum always said,

Never use two words when one will do.”

Why didn’t she just say,

“Avoid verbosity”?

mother talking to child

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I love blondes, but I was gutted to come

home from work to find my girlfriend

had dyed her hair brunette.

It’s just not fair.

brunette

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Protesters at the recent G20 conference

were holding up huge signs saying

‘Capitalism Isn’t Working’.

A friend of mine turned to me and said,

“Surely that’s wrong.

Surely ‘Capitalism Is Working’.”

Capitalism Isn't Working

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My English teacher told me that it’s impossible

to take two completely different words out of context

and use them to create a coherent sentence.

Wheel sea.

English teacher

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Friends of my wife and I, recently bought a farm,

and decided to invite us to a House warming party.

I asked my wife, “What shall we get them for a present?”

“How about this long length of rope with bucket attached?” she replied.

“Yes,” I agreed. “I am sure that will go down well.”

well bucket and rope

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No Excuse For A Bad Photo Nowadays!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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In the town where I went to school the local photography shop was the place to go when you needed a photo for a passport or driving license or whatever. The guy who owned the store invariably came out with the following line when he got you positioned and was ready to take the shot…

“Would you like a good photograph

…..or one that looks like you?”

It’s easy to be cynical and complain about new technologies. Although on the whole I embrace new technology, I have at times been highly critical about some aspects (as with recent short series about the awful auto-correct cell phone feature – check out the “Bloopers” section if you want to see them).

But new technology has on most occasions made life easier or more convenient. And at times a lot less expensive.

Photography is one area where there can be no doubt that for most people the advances made with digital photography is a big plus.

Just as with musical recordings there are still purists out there who use reel-to-reel tape and prefer the crackly authenticity of vinyl LP records, with photography there are some who prefer to develop and print their own photographs.

For my part, however, the days of running down to the local pharmacy with my 35mm film and then repeating the process the next day to get the prints, many of which weren’t worth the expense and bother, are over. And thank goodness for that!

Nowadays you can snap 100 photos, pick out the best 20 or so, use your personal computer software (even free stuff like Google’s Picasa) to crop and improve them and then print off either professionally or on your own home printer only the ones you really like (the ‘keepers’ we call them).

Of course, there’s always a downside. And the BIG downside to all this is that there really is no excuse nowadays for taking a bad photo – and printing it!

Unfortunately that message hasn’t reached a lot of people yet, as the following examples illustrate.

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bad photo 011

 

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bad_photo_008

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bad photos 013

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bad_photo_007

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bad_photo_006

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bad_photo_005

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bad_photo_004

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bad photos 014

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bad_photo_001

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bad_photo_002

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bad_photo_003

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bad photos 008

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bad photos 009

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bad photo 012

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