Quote IconThese tapes should be the last nail in the coffin of the idea that there is any meritocracy in American capitalism. Any misconception that anyone ever had about rich people getting where are they are because they are smarter than us had to die with this tape. Because. Wow.
Jay Smoothon the Donald Sterling tapes. (via liberalsarecool)

No es un secreto que en los departamentos de ciencias de las universidades alrededor del mundo hay más varones que mujeres. Afortunadamente, este fenómeno ha ido cambiando poco a poco y una de las que ha roto barreras ha sido Carmen Pantoja, la primera mujer puertorriqueña, aunque no la única, en convertirse en astrónoma.


My Students Don’t Know How To Have a Conversation

Recently I stood in front of my class, observing an all-too-familiar scene. Most of my students were covertly—or so they thought—pecking away at their smartphones under their desks, checking their Facebook feeds and texts.

As I called their attention, students’ heads slowly lifted, their eyes reluctantly glancing forward. I then cheerfully explained that their next project would practice a skill they all desperately needed: holding a conversation.

Several students looked perplexed. Others fidgeted in their seats, waiting for me to stop watching the class so they could return to their phones. Finally, one student raised his hand. “How is this going to work?” he asked. 

My junior English class had spent time researching different education issues. We had held whole-class discussions surrounding school reform issues and also practiced one-on-one discussions. Next, they would create podcasts in small groups, demonstrating their ability to communicate about the topics—the project represented a culminating assessment of their ability to speak about the issues in real time.

Even with plenty of practice, the task proved daunting to students. I watched trial runs of their podcasts frequently fall silent. Unless the student facilitator asked a question, most kids were unable to converse effectively. Instead of chiming in or following up on comments, they conducted rigid interviews. They shuffled papers and looked down at their hands. Some even reached for their phones—an automatic impulse and the last thing they should be doing.

Read more. [Image: Adam Fagen/Flickr]

Quote IconWe have snipers all around the stadium, just in case something were to happen. Like I said, do whatever it is you normally do. But approach the President, and we go for the kill shot. Are we clear?
A secret service agent • Warning Mr. Met—the mascot of the New York Mets—not to get close to President Clinton during a 1997 baseball game in which Clinton spoke. AJ Mass, the man inside the suit at the time, wrote about this experience in a new book, because who wouldn’t? (via shortformblog)