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July 11, 2011

"Everything is a Remix" part three is here!

Everything is a Remix Part 3 | Everything Is a...

July 08, 2011

Son Of Strelka, Son Of God (Narrated by Obama)

Did you know that Obama recorded his own audiobook versions of his best-selling books? It's true. And some creative people have done wonders remixing and re-editing the audio clips. Here's a link to the audiobook. Son Of Strelka, Son Of God (Narrated by Obama) - A Free Audio Story - The Something Awful Forums
Hey y'all. Long time no see. For the past four years, I've been working slowly but obsessively on a very odd project. Bit by bit I’ve dissected Obama’s self-read autobiography into thousands of very short phrases, usually one to ten words or so, and have used these snippets to tell a completely different story from the original. I’ve then set the story to music. The story is called Son Of Strelka, Son Of God. Broadly speaking, it tells the story of an ugly dog-faced demigod who recreates the world after it is destroyed. It's about thirty minutes long, and lies in some weird grey area between audiobook and electronic music.

July 07, 2011

On Sweden's gender-free preschool

BBC News - Sweden's 'gender-neutral' pre-school
On the surface, the school in Sodermalm - a well-to-do district of the Swedish capital - seems like any other. But listen carefully and you'll notice a big difference. The teachers avoid using the pronouns "him" and "her" when talking to the children. Instead they refer to them as "friends", by their first names, or as "hen" - a genderless pronoun borrowed from Finnish. Changing society? It is not just the language that is different here, though. Continue reading the main story “Start Quote This equality idea, it has become so absurd, it has become a really stupid industry” Tanja Bergkvist Swedish blogger The books have been carefully selected to avoid traditional presentations of gender and parenting roles. . . .

July 06, 2011

Atlanta schools rocked by cheating scandal

You can blame the rampant cheating on a funding mechanism that values ever-increasing test scores over all else. You can blame it on tying teacher pay and evaluations to test scores. You can twist this into a polemic for charter schools somehow, I'm sure. But at the core this is a disgrace. And you can be sure that if 44 schools and nearly 200 educators were doing this in Atlanta that it must be happening elsewhere. Systematic Cheating Is Found in Atlanta’s School System - NYTimes.com
ATLANTA — A state investigation released Tuesday showed rampant, systematic cheating on test scores in this city’s long-troubled public schools, ending two years of increasing skepticism over remarkable improvements touted by school leaders. The results of the investigation, made public by Gov. Nathan Deal, showed that the cheating occurred at 44 schools and involved at least 178 teachers and principals, almost half of whom have confessed, the governor said. . . . The cheating, he said, showed a complete failure of leadership that hurt thousands of children who might have been promoted to the next grade without meeting basic academic standards. At the center of the cheating scandal is former Superintendent Beverly L. Hall, who was named the 2009 National Superintendent of the Year and has been considered one of the nation’s best at running large, urban districts. . . . Still, the investigation shows that cheating on the state-mandated Criterion-Referenced Competency Test began as early as 2001, and that “clear and significant” warnings were raised as early as December 2005. Dr. Hall’s administration punished whistle-blowers, hid or manipulated information and illegally altered documents related to the tests, the investigation found. The superintendent and her administration “emphasized test results and public praise to the exclusion of integrity and ethics,” the investigators wrote. . . .

A DANCE WITH DRAGONS: A primer to remind where all the characters are and what they are doing (a lot of them are dead)

If you haven't read the first four books of A SING OF ICE AND FIRE then this has hecka spoilers in it. Where Everybody Is Before A Dance With Dragons Begins | Tor.com
As of the end of A Feast For Crows, what’s up with: Daenerys Targaryen: Daenerys has conquered three cities on Slaver’s Bay and has halted her advance in Meereen, having determined that she needs time to learn how to be a good ruler as well as conquerer, and having deduced that her dragons need time to grow and mature. Ser Barristan, the old leader of the Kingsguard, having been disgraced by the now-deceased-and-good-riddance King Joffrey Baratheon, has become the Lord Commander of Daenerys’ Queensguard. Her longtime advisor Ser Jorah Mormont has been banished. Unbeknownst to Daenerys, her court is about to receive a maester from Oldtown as an advisor. Cersei Lannister: The Queen Regent is currently imprisoned in King’s Landing and awaiting trial by combat for various crimes. She refuses to yield and has sent for Jaime to be her champion. Jaime Lannister: This former Hand of the King spent most of A Feast For Crows mopping up the mess left over in the Riverlands from the Frey’s betrayal of the Starks. He was last seen burning Cersei’s plea for championship, leaving it unanswered. . . .