The more I watch and listen to my daughter and her friends discuss college costs, the more I appreciate her leaning towards attending an accredited online university like WGU. Adding to the tuition costs are book costs, meal costs, living costs, commuting costs and even parking costs ... which are just thousands of dollars invested in actually attending college above and beyond those college credits. And when you consider that a huge chunk of education is basically the same whether you're attending an ivy league university or an online school - math, science, history, English - wouldn't you rather see those thousands of dollars better spent?
Who wouldn't want to garner a master's degree that is no less of a master's degree simply because it's an online mba that just cost you a fraction of your colleague's? And the best part is knowing how much smarter you've already proven yourself to be when you compare how much you spent on the path to earning that degree in relation to those same colleagues.
Or maybe you'll be comparing how much more you were able to save and put towards your new car or home... or... ? There's a lot to be said for furthering your education. But I strongly object to the pressure put on kids to go into hock for their future - when there are fantastic online universities out there offering those kids some worthy options.
On "Take Your Teleprompter to School Day", excited school kids were giddily nudging each other as they watched the President of the United States recite a bunch of dazzling big words while he appeared to be watching an invisible tennis match.
Oh wait, no they weren't. Want to see what the kids were doing while the Leader of the Free World waxed so eloquently on their beloved Reading Circle?
Yep. The kids have it: the Leader of the Free World is a dread bore. I imagine they'd pay more attention if they were left to watch 24 straight hours of badly-scored ads for anti aging skin products. I'll say one thing about his choice of venue... it's about time he spoke directly to those people whose money he is so insistent on spending.
The monumental story of a Man and his Truck is splashed across websites and media across the country today. What better political fairytale than one brought to you by the people who actually ARE represented in the landslide election results? Don't agree it's a landslide? A 5 point Republican win in a state with only 12% Republican voters on the rolls is something close to a Miracle. Something to Remember and Study. On the other hand, I'd bet that the story below isn't the one that anyone wants you to remember after all this:
"I have no idea why he called me Marcia.":
The National Journal reports (Patrick) Kennedy repeatedly referred to her as "Marcia" and not "Martha" Coakley.
I'm more than a little amused that the above image is titled "Kennedy Successor Coakley".
Hasn't the press learned anything yet about the old adage counting your chickens before they've hatched?
One thing about history, even digital history. You're sure to find loads of such gaffes and goofs published across dozens of web directories if ever you're feeling nostalgic.
I can't think of a less-positive endorsement of a movie than "it made me want to off myself so I could be reincarnated on the fictional world Pandora." Okay, so I kinda paraphrased but here's the actual quote:
"Ever since I went to see 'Avatar' I have been depressed. Watching the wonderful world of Pandora and all the Na'vi made me want to be one of them. I can't stop thinking about all the things that happened in the film and all of the tears and shivers I got from it," Mike posted. "I even contemplate suicide thinking that if I do it I will be rebirthed in a world similar to Pandora and the everything is the same as in 'Avatar.' "
You see, I wasn't far off. Makes me want to run right out and see it with all the kids! This guy Mike obviously is still disheartened at missing his big chance to get off this rock when Hale-Bopp passed by, so he's latching onto the next best thing: Hollywood. I wonder if he tried to book passage on Cameron's other vehicle a few years back? I sincerly suggest that anyone who is having the "blues" due to seeing this film, just go read some olay regenerist reviews around the web and you'll find you too can acheive a sort of newfound outlook and feel better about yourself too. And for a lot less pain.
Oh, and if that doesn't spark your self-preservation instincts... open this other Pandora's Box and consider the inspiration for the film:
Call me a glutton for punishment. If it's political and a scandal, I'll read it.
So when I chanced upon the Newsweek epic on the Edwards Exodus from Elections 2008, I of course started perusing. The fact that the article carried nearly a dozen pages didn't deter me... I didn't expect to read the whole thing after all. How much does anyone really want to know about a couple people who are pretty much gone from the political stage due to their own actions? I'm not much for schadenfreude even when the targets are those I despise.
What do you think she's thinking about here? I don't know when during the whole affair this picture was taken, but I don't see admiration in her gaze or body language. I see the gaze of someone seeing something they had hoped to shape see it all go terribly wrong.
Back to the article: It's been a couple weeks and I still haven't made it through the whole thing. I have to keep taking breaks and have taken up scouring the net for some of the best night cream that will keep me from looking like these very unhappy people. Do they EVER smile... off camera? There's something very tawdry about the whole scenario: and I'm not talking about the National Enquirer exposé. Reading about the behavior of the Edwards was very unsettling. Throughout the descriptions of their antics, meltdowns and coverups, all I can think of is these people are in charge of and responsible for children. I hope they are protecting their children from all of this, as much as they could and can in the life they've chosen.
As for the newest child, I pray that one comes through this sound and happy as well.
Image courtesy: Choketown
Yep, yet another year for naught!
As any Eagles fan can tell you (but probably won't admit unless you can get them in a chokehold) this is a common theme for this city's football fans. Even with some of the league's most promising weapons on the roster, I don't see a fruitful outcome with #5 on the team.
I didn't make it through the season, having already given up well before I found out the Powers That Be in Eagledom had knocked Kolb back to #3 so Michael "I never met a dog I didn't want to see maimed and raped" Vick could jump into the #2 spot should Donovan "Choke" McNabb inevitably get hurt or live up to his unofficial middle name.
I'm thrilled to see the Chargers in the Playoffs this year, having become a sort of fan from living there, and I'd love to see the Saints and Chargers face each other in the Super Bowl just to see a Rivers and Brees matchup. That said, I'd also rather undergo some unnecessary hemorrhoid treatments than watch yet another season of Eagles football with McNabb behind the ball.
Can I get an amen?
Maybe we'd have better luck with this #5:
Pray for the victims of the devastation in Haiti. If you can do nothing else, please Pray.
Reading & watching the heartbreaking news stories flooding from earthquake-shattered Haiti, I'm constantly amazed when I read about sheer enormity of the damage. Tonight on Fox News we watched visibly-moved and shaken reporter Steve Harrigan on scene relating the story of a woman who had to be held down to the ground where she wept open-eyed to the sky mourning the deaths of four of her children. She was being held down because the epic tragedy had caused her to go insane as everytime she stood, she started shrieking from her absolutely unimaginable loss. How does one survive that? I'm praying that she does. She and every other mother, father, son, daughter, friend, husband, wife survives this.
Coming from California, I'm very familiar with earthquakes and have survived some majors myself. Even in a place where we were assured we had absolute quake readiness in architecture and buildings, we suffered crippling infrastructure losses and deaths. You simply can't stop something as huge as the Earth from breaking apart and knocking down anything in its way. So reading about the poverty levels in Haiti, and seeing image after image after image of homes built from concrete blocks and mud and knowing they had no plan for ANY quake to ever hit their island all I could wonder was - how to help and where do they start?
I started reading stories from survivors' relatives and friends and even strangers from home: and about the simple little gestures so many people are making to help the victims in their own way. Everything from sending clothing, medicines, cookies, children's shoes and jackets, diapers and formula, tents & sleeping bags, to doctors I've spoken with actually taking time from their own practices here in the United States to travel to the area to tend to the critically wounded. It's all been as equally touching as it has humbling. Poignant gestures are being made to help people survive and recover. I've read about companies and people like richard willich who do inspiring things for their communities and hope that enough people are able to come together to help the survivors of Haiti's earthquake come through this horror intact.
Christmas cookie season is a distant memory for some of us and the seven year old is hot to start baking again. Anything and everything. All under the guise of planning a winter birthday party for the soon-to-be 19 year old.
And what kind of cookies do you bake for a winter birthday party? Penguin cookies of course! I'm half inclined to bake them with her, and let her decorate all their adorable little tuxedo jackets in a rainbow of glazes and jimmies. A regular rainbow Chorus Line to give "Happy Feet" a run for its money.
And the Teen Elder's friends running for the door if the Teen is right.
I say - if they don't have a sense of humor about some cookies, let them run along.
And the cool kids who stayed get cookies... AND cake.
*Disclaimer: this is not one of our 2 kitties. It's just a really cute picture.
Being raised mostly with dogs for pets, our current menagerie of 2 kitties, 2 goldfish and a hamster has me marveling at the every day antics and activities of our feline family. Does every cat REQUIRE a home underneath your most expensive electronics with some tasty cables directly within reach of their cute little paws and sharp little teeth?
*Disclaimer: this is not one of our 2 kitties either.
The Man of the House brought home some fancy cable protectors as soon as I put out that mental image of one of our kitties playing the part of Ben Franklin in the Rain Storm... along with the other mental image of him forking out a couple dozen of his own Ben Franklins to replace his LCD.
Problem solved purr-fectly.
At the nation's universities and colleges, they're counting on it.
I spend way too much time reading articles about colleges. Articles that aren't always the most positive or encouraging:
Do well, get in. At least that’s what middle-class Americans dreaming of their children’s social advancement have been told.
In truth, the SAT, which is thankfully being phased out at many schools, has had the opposite effect. Far from opening the doors of elite schoools to outstanding students from ordinary backgrounds, it has wound up giving an objective patina to an unjust process. In some ways it is the great subterfuge. That’s because SAT scores correlate highly to family income - an average of 12 point increments for every $20,000 of income, which this year amounted to a 130 difference on critical reasoning, 80 points on math and 70 on writing between the lowest income and highest income groups. While correlation isn’t always causality, economics professor Jesse Rothstein of Berkeley has called it a proxy for other demographic components and for high school resources. And, not surprisingly, Professor George Kuh of Indiana University, has found that the US News list of best colleges has an almost 100 percent correlation to SAT scores, which means that the so-called best schools could just as easily be ranked by family income.
So here’s the bottom line for all those exceptional middle-class and lower-class high school seniors who will doubt their own worth when the near-inevitable rejection letters arrive: The fault, dear Brutus, lies not in you. The fault lies in the system, and the system isn’t going to change, because it benefits the people it is designed to benefit - people who understand how much a real meritocracy would threaten their power.
Articles I always end up forwarding to our oldest who is talented, smart and pretty with a pretty good head on her shoulders. Everything a parent wants in a child about to embark into adulthood, right?
Then why should I be so put off that she has her mind set on attending a four-year school for her chosen major in the arts? I'm fairly certain that higher education isn't required for this career path. I've even binged it, and found that all the same people who are luring kids to college for this art major are the same ones who stand to make piles of money for teaching kids the same thing they could learn, if they really HAVE to go to college, at the respectable two year institution down the street.
Don't get me wrong. College is at times absolutely essential. But -- she isn't aching to be a doctor or a lawyer or a teacher. She isn't going to invent the next 4396508 filter for the Space Station's coffee maker. What she really wants to do is something that requires practical experience out in the real world. Not something she's going to learn as much about sitting in a classroom at a desk. For four years. I've already given her alternatives and ideas. She seems pretty set on her choice and having the 4th best art school in the country accept her portfolio is a huge confidence booster. But really? $120,000 to learn how to do something she could learn in a couple years as an intern or apprentice?. And student loans aren't just bills you can ignore by not answering your phone. They're immediately due to start being paid when you graduate, IF you graduate, and they follow you until you die.
Kind of like this guy:
And don't get me started on the service requirements this President is pushing on college students.
The top Democrat in the U.S. Senate apologized on Saturday for comments he made about Barack Obama's race during the 2008 presidential bid and are quoted in a yet-to-be-released book about the campaign.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada described in private then-Sen. Barack Obama as "light skinned" and "with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one."
Nice work, Harry. He was never one for speaking carefully but wow! Even your friend Joe isn't taking your calls now. You committed the Cardinal Sin in the Democratic Party: tell Black Americans what you really think about them. Kind of like that "Obama the Magic Negro" line incorrectly attributed to Rush Limbaugh but actually tracked back to the liberal-lovin' L.A. Times.
If payback were real and politics were honest come next election Harry would be manning some scandalous point of purchase displays on the seedier side of the Vegas strip.
Anyone else readying their DVR for Dennis Miller's soundbites on O'Reilly about one of his favorite political punching bags? Hard to blame him for picking on Harry endlessly when Harry continues to make it so easy.
"Will Build to Suit"? Okay so I wouldn't put this picture on the brochure. The human imagination works so much better in this circumstance.
I admit I can't think of a better motivator for researching life insurance quotes than the day when humanity reaches that horizon where we can all travel to, maybe even commute to, our very own established moon colonies. No, this isn't one of those conspiracy theories about the hidden funding for the construction of FEMA camps in the Sea of Tranquility in the latest health care bill.
It seems that an international team of scientists (have) discovered a protected lunar "lava tube"... that might be well suited for a moon colony:
The vertical hole, in the volcanic Marius Hills region on the moon's near side, is 213 feet wide and is estimated to be more than 260 feet deep...
More important... the hole is protected from the moon's harsh temperatures and meteorite strikes by a thin sheet of lava. That makes the tube a good candidate for further exploration or possible inhabitation. (snip)
"Any intact lava tube could serve as a shelter from the severe environment of the lunar surface, with its meteorite impacts, high-energy UV radiation and energetic particles, and extreme diurnal temperature variations."
Lava tubes have previously been discovered on the moon, but the scientists say the new hole is notable because of its lava shield and because it does not appear to be prone to collapse.
Wow. "Martian Chronicles" may well be closer than any of us realized. And what a selling point. "Free Lava Shield... and Does Not Appear Prone to Collapse". Definitely important.
And the FEMA moon camps? They won't be hidden in the health care bills. They'll be in one of the many versions of stiumulus bills under the footnote "Shovel Ready Jobs".
Less than 2 weeks since Christmas and it appears that the darlings of toy retailers and barcode scanners everywhere have already been relegated to a shelf away from the children. Did I mention the children put them there, not mom or dad? Like many parents, we saw the remote control hamsters and thought it would be such a cute and fun toy. Like a real hamster, but not so messy. Or prone to biting. Of course, millions of other parents and children had the same thought so anyone who shopped for toys online knows these little guys were harder to find than an honest Congressman.
We bought all of the above cuties: 2 for each of our 2 younger girls, and what fun it would be for the cats to chase around too!
Unfortunately, we are a house of girls with hair. See where this is going? Yes, one day we happened to find the 2 yr old in her room crying and hiding because her little zhu zhu Pipsqueak had gotten his wheels stuck in her hair and every time she tried to pull him out, she accidentally pressed a button and his wheels spun again and pulled in more of her hair. Now I had already had occasion to open one of them up (yes, already) and clean hair from the carpets out of its wheels. So we went into emergency mode and held the toy critter still while we disassembled it right against her scalp. We cleared most of her hair out but did have to trim about 1/4" at the very end where it was hopelessly caught in the gears. And managed to get the wheels "biting" our own fingers as well while we tried to remove it. And they hurt!
And from then on, the two year old has deigned to play anything and everything else.
And guess what has replaced the zhu zhus for the 7 year old? Yes, the real hamster.
Sorry, Steve. We never should have forsaken you.
As a prisoner at Guantanamo, Said Ali al-Shihri said he wanted freedom so he could go home to Saudi Arabia and work at his family's furniture store.
Instead, al-Shihri, who was released in 2007 under the Bush administration, is now deputy leader of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, a group that has claimed responsibility for the Christmas Day attempted bomb attack on a Detroit-bound airliner.
Doubtless this will change Obama's pledge to close down Gitmo and free those oppressed peoples who merely were traveling through Iraq or Afghanistan when they innocently found themselves in the middle of a war. That gun/bomb/IED in their hands? Oh, they just tripped over it on their way to the mosque ... and who wouldn't pick such a thing up to see what it was? If you believe the stories the captured terrorists in Gitmo are peddling then you probably also believe they buy travel insurance online while planning jihad.
That the creeps failed to strike on one of Christianity & the western world's two holiest days will only strengthen their resolve to succeed next time. Maybe send someone older & more experienced than a 19 yr old. Stay vigilant. Because the people in charge seem to be soft on scorpions.