Thursday, July 21, 2011

Thursday Scorcher

Public service announcement: stay hydrated and cool. It's a hot one:

A heat dome, a hot, unmoving high-pressure area, is hovering over central parts of Canada, pushing the jet stream well to the north, and keeping cooler or wetter weather out, said Environment Canada senior climatologist Dave Phillips.

"It's like a heat pump and it just sluggishly sits there and like an unwanted house guest, it just won't move," he said.

The dome is hovering over much of the United States as well. It spread up to western Canada over the weekend, sending sizzling temperatures to the Prairies. Winnipeg was sweltering under a high of 34.4 C on Tuesday and Regina baked at 31.9 C.

As the dome settles a bit further east, Environment Canada is predicting the mercury will hit 37 C Thursday in Toronto. Further south in Windsor, Ont., it's expected to go up to a scorching 39 C.

The heat dome phenomenon is known to happen every few summers, said Marie-Eve Giguere, a warning preparedness meteorologist with Environment Canada. The dome works to trap heat, she said.

"Every day it gets hotter and hotter," Giguere said. "It gets heat from the sun and this sort of hot dome of air is getting hotter and hotter and this is what's creating these high temperatures."

This might help.

In other news, only seven Atlanta teachers quit after being caught cheating:

Just seven of 178 Atlanta educators implicated in a standardized test cheating scandal resigned or retired on Wednesday to avoid being fired, a school spokesman said.

The remaining teachers and principals will now face termination proceedings, Atlanta Public Schools spokesman Keith Bromery said.

Atlanta's interim school superintendent Erroll B. Davis Jr. had told the educators accused of cheating they had until Wednesday evening to voluntarily step down or they would be fired.

But the Georgia Association of Educators, a teacher advocacy group, advised its members not to resign, saying the school system was taking action before all the evidence has been uncovered.

A state report issued this month identified 178 teachers and principals accused of cheating on state standardized testing in 2009 as a way to inflate student scores.

So much for integrity.

Speaking of integrity, as of this writing, the CBC has not revealed the identities of war criminals hiding in this country:

The federal government has released the names of 30 suspected war criminals it says entered the country illegally, and is asking for the public's help in locating them.

The government launched a website Thursday identifying the suspects and calling for any information that could lead to their whereabouts.

CBC News' practice is not to name suspects, and therefore is not publishing the names or photos of the suspects at this time.

These "suspects" have been accused of crimes against humanity. The CBC has also taken a soft approach when Canadian troops were accused of abuses in Afghanistan.

Wrap your heads around that.

The "mosqueteria" business will not go away. Public schools, no longer academic institutions but baby-minding services with well-compensated staff who have the pleasant or unpleasant task of imparting ideologies on their charges, are caving into the wishes of a perpetually angry and victimization-fixated special-interest group by allowing prayer services every Friday (except for certain girls). Keep in mind- these are the same schools that won't allow "Christmas" or "The Lord's Prayer" to be uttered within their walls.


From: Xxxxx Xxxxxxxxx

Date: August 4, 2010

I am concerned that a number of TDSB principals are violating the principle of secular education in Ontario by allowing Muslim students to leave classes for Friday prayers during class time. While the intentions of those principals are undoubtedly good in trying to create a welcoming atmosphere in the school, being inclusive and multicultural and helping retain students who otherwise might wish to attend different schools, their method is wrong; in fact, it is a violation of Ministry policy and the law. It stands in need of being corrected. I ask that a directive be sent to TDSB principals as soon as possible, preferably before the beginning of classes in September, to bring the practice to an end.

For example, I have seen how it has become the regular practice at Jarvis Collegiate, where I was a teacher, to allow 100-150 Muslim students to be excused from classes for twenty-five minutes every Friday afternoon to gather in the cafeteria for prayers. My understanding is that something similar is done in other schools. It should not be happening.

Read the whole thing.

(hat tip)

What's sleazier?

It’s hard to take at face value the public ostracizing of Rupert Murdoch as a cancer within journalism even as the world’s two foremost wire services have just associated themselves with the world’s most fraudulent news organization. I refer to the AP’s announcement late last month that it had made a deal with Kim Jong Il’s own Korea Central News Agency (KCNA) to open a bureau in Pyongyang, and the more recent announcement by Reuters that it had “expanded” its “relationship” with KCNA to deliver official North Korean content to readers everywhere.

Great — that’s just what we all needed. As to why the AP and Reuters think this arrangement should not harm their journalistic reputations, I can only guess that KCNA’s official status gives it some sort of credibility, however perverse. Meanwhile, Murdoch is under attack for the closeness of his association with the British government, and vice versa. You don’t have to be a fan of Murdoch or some (any?) of his publications to see a double standard at work here.

Who gets put in the wringer for this?

(another hat tip)

And now, a wacky-looking forest.

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