Music Monday: Practicing What I Preach?

Last year I wrote a post, "What Would Cause You to Stop Being a Fan of Someone or Something?"in which I wondered what I would do if somebody or some team or some company that I was a fan of did something I totally disagreed with, whether it’s a political stance they take or breaking … Continue reading Music Monday: Practicing What I Preach?

Sorry. No Scholarship for You. You’re Too Slow at Jumping Rope.

In 2014, Chinese authorities introduced physical-education requirements that included a national jump-rope exam for boys and girls from first through sixth grades. To pass, students must complete minimum numbers of skips a minute, and failure can trip up an otherwise promising academic trajectory. Top officials see the activity as an accessible, low-cost way to help … Continue reading Sorry. No Scholarship for You. You’re Too Slow at Jumping Rope.

Why Is There Even a Word for This?

We were watching Jeopardy tonight, and the following clue popped up: I wasn't sure what I was more impressed with, that somebody knew the answer, or that there is actually a word for throwing someone out the window. And apparently, this is not the first time that the word defenestration has been used in Jeopardy. … Continue reading Why Is There Even a Word for This?

Americans Should Be Embarrassed

The Annenberg Civics Knowledge Survey, conducted since 2006, focuses on the American public’s understanding of the Constitution of the United States. Since 2013, the civics knowledge survey has been conducted annually for Constitution Day (Sept. 17) as the Annenberg Constitution Day Civics Survey. The latest results from the 2021 survey, while encouraging, are also, in … Continue reading Americans Should Be Embarrassed

I’m Less Important to Facebook Than a Dog

Facebook has built a system that has exempted high-profile users from some or all of its rules, according to company documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. Known as “cross check” or “XCheck,” the program was initially intended as a quality-control measure for actions taken against high-profile accounts, including celebrities, politicians, and journalists. Today, it … Continue reading I’m Less Important to Facebook Than a Dog

Music Monday: A Song for 9/11

The past few days have seen many musical tributes in honor of 9/11, so I thought I would add my own. The Rising appeared on an album of the same name that Bruce Springsteen created shortly after 9/11. Based in large part on Springsteen's reflections during the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks, the album … Continue reading Music Monday: A Song for 9/11

Why Would Anyone Want to Be on Their Local School Board?

School board members are typically unpaid volunteers, often parents who step forward to shape school policy, choose a superintendent, and review the budget. In most places, and during most times, it was a relatively unremarkable, yet vital position, one that few people paid attention to, or even knew who the members of the local school … Continue reading Why Would Anyone Want to Be on Their Local School Board?

Music Monday: A Look at a Slice of Soviet Rock and Roll History

The NPR website had a fascinating article a couple of weeks ago about the history of rock and roll in the Soviet Union. The focus of the article was on the Leningrad Rock Club: a 600-seat theater that opened in the early 1980s where bands could be seen and — more importantly — watched. The … Continue reading Music Monday: A Look at a Slice of Soviet Rock and Roll History

Can Money Help People to “Just Say No”?

Overdose deaths from stimulants in California nearly quadrupled between 2010 and 2019, and the problem has gotten even worse since. Preliminary data from the first nine months of 2020 — when much of the state was locked down because of the coronavirus— shows stimulant overdose deaths jumped 42% compared to 2019. California has proposed a … Continue reading Can Money Help People to “Just Say No”?

We’re Number 11, Again! :(

Eleven years ago New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman wrote an opinion piece titled "We're No. 1(1)!" The title was in reference to a Newsweek ranking of the 100 best countries in the world. The U.S. didn't even make the top 10; we came in at No. 11. Not bad, but it seems that for … Continue reading We’re Number 11, Again! 😦