Monday, March 31, 2008

SocyBerty: 10 Things They Didn't Teach You at School

I actually learned quite a few of these, but SocyBerty has a list of 10 Things They Didn't Teach You at School.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Don't Tase Me, Bro!: 8th Grade Honor Student Removed from Office as Class Vice-President

What does it take for a school to suspend an eighth-grader, bar his attendance from an honors dinner, and strip him of his post as class Vice President? If you guessed drugs, alcohol, or a firearm, think again. A bag of candy is reason enough. This week a Connecticut school levied thse very punishments on an honor student with no history of misconduct, just for buying a bag of Skittles from his classmate. School officials are hiding behind their Wellness Policy--which prohibits bake sales, classroom pizza parties, and the sale of candy--as justification for the harsh disciplinary action.

Via Don't Tase Me, Bro!, a new-ish blog devoted to the state of civil liberties and personal freedom.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo.

Believe it or not, that subject is actually a complete sentence. mental_floss explains it here. Not terribly educational (who's going to use buffalo as a verb, really?), but could still be interesting for students.

Picture: All the water and air on earth gathered into spheres and compared to Earth

Also via BoingBoing - click on the link to get an idea of how all the water and all the air on earth compares to the size of the planet. Very interesting, and could probably be good for discussion in Science classes.

Free book for high school newspapers

From Cory Doctorow over at BoingBoing:
My next novel, Little Brother, is coming out in about six weeks, on April 29. It's a book for young adults, about freedom, surveillance, and how technology can be used to free you or to lock you up. It's about a gang of hacker/gamer kids in San Francisco who use technology to restore freedom to America, despite the damndest efforts of the Department of Homeland Security to take it away in the name of fighting terrorism.

Since this book is intended for high-school-age kids, my publisher has agreed to send 200 advance review copies of the book to school newspaper reviewers, along with the same press-kit that gets sent to "real" papers like the New York Times and the Washington Post (actually, the school kit has even more stuff -- it also includes a signed personal letter explaining why I wrote this book and why I hope kids will read it).

Sounds like a great opportunity for high schoolers. Unfortunately, I'm student teaching at a middle school. Somebody, please take advantage of this!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Article: Math explains the "beer goggles" effect

Mental_floss has an article about the mathematical equation some UK researchers created to explain "beer goggles.":
The formula can work out a final score, ranging from less than one - where there is no beer goggle effect - to more than 100. A rating between 1 and 50 would mean you’re likely to find someone you’re not attracted to less, shall we say, visually offensive than in other situations. If you’re scoring between 51 and 100, it might be time to call it a night; unappealing people are looking very good to you.

Probably not appropriate for middle or high school students, but still interesting to know nonetheless.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Article: Babies See Pure Color, but Adults Peer Through Prism of Language

Does language affect how we see color? That's what one study suggests, according to this article on
"As an adult, color categorization is influenced by linguistic categories. It differs as the language differs," said Kay, who is renowned for his studies on the ways that different cultures classify colors. He cited recent research on the ability of Russian speakers to detect shades of blue that English speakers classify as a single color.

Could make for interesting discussion in an Art or Language Arts classroom.