Sunday, January 31, 2010

what title this is I think I know

Media multitaskers pay mental price, Stanford study shows.
Attention, multitaskers (if you can pay attention, that is): Your brain may be in trouble.

People who are regularly bombarded with several streams of electronic information do not pay attention, control their memory or switch from one job to another as well as those who prefer to complete one task at a time.
I'm tempted to move: The Secessionist Campaign for the Republic of Vermont

Phys Ed: How Exercising Keeps Your Cells Young

Metafilter post of the day:

great teaching takes true grit

What makes a great teacher? Analyzing more than twenty years of data, Teach for America has found that great teachers had trained in their subject areas rather than in education, and had high "life satisfaction." They also demonstrated five tendencies: they
"constantly reevaluate what they are doing... they avidly recruited students and their families into the process; they maintained focus, ensuring that everything they did contributed to student learning; they planned exhaustively and purposefully—for the next day or the year ahead—by working backward from the desired outcome; and they worked relentlessly, refusing to surrender to the combined menaces of poverty, bureaucracy, and budgetary shortfalls."
This last trait is measured by the Grit Scale, which has been shown to predict good outcomes in both teachers and West Point cadets. (Do you have grit?)

Not everyone agrees:
The Problem with Teach for America: 12
True Grit
Why I Hate Teach for America
posted by anotherpanacea


  1. [Let's try this again.] On the Vermont secession movement --

    20 years ago, when it appeared that Quebec really might secede from Canada, some of us New Englanders played out the following scenario: Quebec leaves Canada; after a couple of years, the Maritime provinces get sick of being controlled by Ontario, and by the conservative prairie provinces, so one by one they too secede; the Maritimes set up their own confederation; the northern New England states, which have much in common culturally and economically with the Maritimes, realize they have more to lose than gain by being part of the United States, and one by one they secede and join the Maritimes in the new country; Rhode Island goes next; Massachusetts debates the whole thing, so the feds pull lots of defense contracts out of Mass., Mass. residents remember that they only approved the U.S. Constitution by one vote, suddenly Mass. pulls out, too (Connecticut is too much a part of New York, plus they root for the Yankees, so they stick with the U.S.).

    End result of this scenario: Quebec is a separate nation; New England and the Maritimes are a separate nation with strong trade ties to Quebec; Canada and the United States get increasingly conservative, precluding the chance of any future rapprochement with their former states/provinces.

    20 years ago, I really hoped this scenario would come true. Now I'm cheering on Vermont's secession movement....

  2. Dan, I may steal some of that for a science fiction setting someday...

  3. In a throwaway reference in Slaughterhouse Five, Vonnegut imagines the US divided into something like 6 separate nations, but that's imposed by the UN or at least the rest of the world as an antidote to US imperialism.