Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Mid-Week Post

The nucleus of the work-week...

Well, this must be embarrassing:

The US middle class, long a symbol of the nation's economic might and proof that the "American Dream" was more than just a dream, is no longer the world's wealthiest. 
Citizens of other advanced nations have received "considerably larger raises" over the past 30 years, with after-tax middle class incomes in Canada, which lagged substantially behind the US in 2000, now surpassing those south of the border, the New York Times reports. Also, poor individuals in much of Europe are now earning more than poor Americans.

Whatever will Justin Trudeau do now that one of his chief talking points is officially utter crap?


Young children may learn more by listening to their parents describe a picture book than by reading a book meant to teach new words, a new Canadian study has found.

The researchers from the University of Waterloo in Ontario asked 25 mothers to read two books to their toddlers, each featuring six animals.

In one book, the animals were part of a story told in pictures, while in the second book, the animals were presented on a black background in the usual style of "vocabulary learning" books.

When reading the picture books, the mothers tended to use generic language to talk about the animal, such as saying, "Giraffes have long necks." This taught children about all giraffes.

The mothers also tended to give more details about the animals in the picture book than when they read the vocabulary-style book.
I think the last sentence gets to the crux of the finding. A word is just a word when the concept is not adequately explained. Once the child gets what a giraffe is and looks like, its spelling should come naturally.

Note the baby giraffe's broad smile, brown, blotchy fur, knobbly legs and long-necked cuteness.

But will these non-resident new citizens pay the taxes that keep the tanks rolling into Estonia, Poland, the rest of Ukraine...?

Russian President Vladimir Putin approved on Monday legal amendments to make it simpler for Russian speakers in the former Soviet Union to acquire Russian citizenship, the Kremlin said on Monday.

The evils of "green" energy:

The British Columbia Health Ministry has admitted that the remains of babies destroyed by abortion in B.C. facilities are ending up in a waste-to-power facility in the United States, providing electricity for residents of Oregon.

If you can kill, using bodies for fuel is the next macabre step.

Personally, I thought this was amusing:

An Opera company in St. John’s have taken down a billboard promoting their run of A Midsummer’s Night Dream that some say used homophobic language.

The ad from Opera on the Avalon read, “Filled with more fairies than St. John’s on Pride Day,” in reference to the city’s annual LGBTQ celebration with “fairies” being a double entendre for both gay men and magical woodland creatures. Given that we don’t live in a bubble where the gay community is free of persecution and men don’t face harassment for displaying traditionally feminine traits, the ad struck a nerve.

“I find it incredibly offensive. Gay pride is about acceptance and creating a safe space. Perpetuating stereotypes goes against that,” Erin Alexis wrote on the company’s Facebook page.

(Sidebar: people who use words like "safe space" are probably pants-wetters. Did I go too far?)

It's called a joke. People used to tell them without getting into trouble.

And now, celebrate the Bard's birthday with food:

"O! my sweet beef, I must still be good angel to thee.


Anonymous said...

It would seem that "green energy" can, at times, mean BLOOD RED energy.

Whether or not the theatrical ad in St. John's was/is offensive, it is unlikely that people who enjoy the work of Shakespeare would be drawn to the box office by that type of humour.


Osumashi Kinyobe said...

I'm sure blood red energy will be apologised for and glossed over in times to come.

I would never accuse the humourless of liking the Bard ever.

May the beef be with you.