Saturday, July 09, 2011

Grade Inflation, Standards Deflation

I am reading Iain Murray's new book Stealing You Blind: How Government Fat Cats Are Getting Rich Off of You and his chapter on "The Education Bubble" caught my eye.

Murray discusses grade inflation and states that "the education establishment often points to rising grades to justify this high spending, but when you look closely at the issue, you find that we've actually suffered a two decade-plus period of grade inflation, not rising standards." Apparently, grades are rising much faster than ACT or SAT scores. This grade inflation is a problem for colleges. For example, "In 2006, UCLA received 47,317 applications, of which nearly 21,000 had GPAs of 4.0--or above."

So next time your kids brings home a B, should you start to worry since it's probably the new C?


Friday, July 08, 2011

"75% of women wouldn't marry someone who was unemployed..."

So Glenn linked to this story about how 75% of women will not marry an unemployed man. "That sounds interesting," I thought and headed over to read it. Here is the gist of it:
According to a recent YourTango and ForbesWoman survey, 75% of women wouldn't marry someone who was unemployed, and 65% wouldn't tie the knot if they themselves were jobless. Ironically, 91 percent of single women say they would marry for love over money.

"It is ironic that women place more weight on love than money, yet won't marry if they or their potential suitor is unemployed," said Meghan Casserly, Reporter, ForbesWoman. "A job can make or break the longevity of a relationship and the results of the survey demonstrate just what an important role careers play in romance."

At first, I was a little put off by the results thinking that the women didn't value men except as a "walking wallet" but since 65% of them didn't want to marry if they themselves were unemployed, it doesn't seem to be too bad. Perhaps the women feel that both spouses should be in a more stable place. What do you think? Would you marry someone if they were unemployed?


I knew people were shy but bladders? Apparently they are (via Hot Air):

Given the choice, you probably prefer your home porcelain throne to using a public toilet. But for more than 20 million people in North America, peeing in a public restroom is no simple matter.

People with a "shy bladder," a real condition also known as paruresis, are fearful of urinating when other people are nearby.
At least there seems to be some help available:
Eighty to 90 percent of sufferers can get considerably better through cognitive-behavioral therapy, which gradually exposes people to their feared situation in small steps, says Soifer, author of "The Shy Bladder Syndrome."

Thursday, July 07, 2011

I am reading a book sent to me entitled Professor Cromer Learns to Read: A Couple's New Life after Brain Injury. It was written by Alan Cromer's wife Janet, who is a psychiatric RN and discusses the difficulty of being a caretaker to someone with a brain injury. If you have ever suffered a brain injury or know someone who has, this books seems very helpful as it "provides the details of what it takes to undertake the awesome roles of survivor and caretaker."

She talks about what it was like to have had her husband suffer a heart attack after boarding a plane to go home. Her husband, Alan, was left with a severe anoxic brain injury from lack of oxygen to his brain during the resuscitation effort. While the book discusses a depressing topic, the author offers hope and humor for those going through such an ordeal. It is definitely worth a read if you or someone else you know is facing severe illness.


The Barefoot Bandit

I was interviewed for the "Barefoot Bandit" show for the Biography Channel which comes on tonight at 10pm and 11:00pm Eastern time. You might remember that the Barefoot Bandit was the teen, Colton Harris-Moore, who stole airplanes, boats etc. and eluded the police for months. If you like such shows, check it out tonight (Thurs. July 7th) or Friday July 8th at 10 pm ET.


Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Blogger Update

So my blog was down for the day after my password was changed and now it seems to be working. I have to say that the engineers and support at Blogger have been terrific in helping me access my blog and I have been very impressed with the service! That said, I probably do need to move to a different site at some point as this blog grows in posts and becomes more difficult to move.

Monday, July 04, 2011

The College Scam?

Last night, I saw John Stossel's show on Fox on the college scam that featured Naomi Schaefer Riley, the author of The Faculty Lounges: And Other Reasons Why You Won't Get The College Education You Pay For. I have been reading her book which just came out a couple of weeks ago, so I watched with interest as she and Stossel discussed why college is not always worth the money. From Stossel's blog:
How can college be a "scam"?

We hear that young people need to go to college.

"Your future depends on it!"... "It's the only way to get a good job!"

Hillary Clinton says: "Graduates from 4 year colleges earn nearly twice as much as high school estimated one million dollars more."

Many experts agree.

But I argue that for many students, if not most, college actually is a scam. Clinton's $1,000,000 earning disparity is deceitful because it's based on a census study that doesn't factor in the fact that kids who apply to college are already more motivated.

The truth is that many colleges don't teach much. Many students are not right for what is taught. Yet this decade, college tuition rose 92% (the CPI was up about 27%).

Tonight, I expose blaring liberal bias on campuses, and lazy tenured professors, who spend little time actually teaching America's kids.

I assume the show will be re-run many times on Fox Business channel, so check it out if you know someone who is college-bound. Or take a look at Riley's book, it has some ideas for what parents and students can do to secure the best education at schools "that are committed to teaching real subjects to undergraduates."


Sunday, July 03, 2011

Disaster preparedness book

I have been looking for a good disaster preparedness book along with a good refresher on basic first aid so I was happy to see one show up in the mail to Glenn. The book was entitled IT'S A DISASTER! ...and what are YOU gonna do about it? (5th Edition) and was written by Bill & Janet Liebsch.

It's a small concise manual that asks the question "Is your family or business really prepared for a disaster or emergency?" It touts information on protecting your family and property from natural disasters and nuclear threats, how to reduce infectious diseases, make an emergency plan with tips that include special ones for kids and the elderly, how to assemble "Grab & Go" kits for your home, car and office, and how to apply basic first aid.

Luckily for me, it reads like a very straight-forward manual with very clear sections with lists to check off for each type of kit etc. It looks like a good book to include in your reading if you want to prepare for various types of disasters.