Archive for the Education Category

A lesson on women’s choices from the tales of King Arthur and his knights.

Posted in Books, Education, Entertainment, Life, Politics, Story time, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 25, 2017 by urbannight

Loathy LadyThere is a story about one of Arthur’s knights who is on a mission and he meets a witch who will help him if only he will marry her. He agrees. She resolves his mission and now he must keep his promise.  Other versions are where the knight becomes obligated to someone of a higher status who forces him to marry an ugly woman under this other man’s authority.

He is depressed because she is very ugly. She lets him in on a secret. He has to make a choice. She can be beautiful but he must decide when. Does he want her to be beautiful at night, when they are alone together? Then everyone with think he has an ugly wife and feel sorry for him. Or she can be beautiful during the day and everyone will think he is lucky to have such a beautiful wife but she will be ugly at night.

Feeling rather sorry for himself, he decided that it doesn’t really matter to him and tells her to choose which way will make her happier. Her response is, “Oh well, in that case, I would rather be beautiful all the time.” And so she was.

The moral is that men shouldn’t make decisions for women. When you let women makeLady Ragnell their own decisions, you may end come coming out of it better than if you tried to force her to follow your choices.

The other moral, as it is sometimes done, is based on a riddle the knight failed to answer.  What is it that women really want?  After failing to answer correctly and having to wed the ugly woman, by letting her choose, he learns the real answer.  What women really want is self-determination.  The right to make their own choices about their own lives and their own bodies.

Both variations of the moral are nearly identical.  The one that says women want and deserve self-determination focuses more on women and letting them make their own decisions.  The other saying that men shouldn’t make decisions for women focuses on men and what they shouldn’t do.  Either way, I think the story is really appropriate for today’s political climate.

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A State of Shock

Posted in Economics, Economy, Education, History, Just Strange, Life, Politics, Religion, Technology, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 10, 2016 by urbannight
voted

After walking home after voting.

This morning I feel numb and horrified at the same time.  There were almost no people walking in to work this morning.  Did people take the day off?  Are there as many people in this country who feel as if they are walking through some post-apocalyptic world despite the fact that the sun is shining, the world looks the same, and half the country is actually happy?

I will probably scream if people start talking about a mandate.  I didn’t like it when Obama said it.  No election as close as these represent a mandate.  I would only accept that word in a landslide vote.  This was not a landslide.  My radio was on when I turned on my car.  I had to turn it off.  People were calling in and saying America has spoken.  As if it was a huge percentage.  It was a razor thin edge.  The worst sorts of people came out of the woodwork.  People who wanted change at ANY cost and don’t care if it hurt this country.  They just want to ‘break’ Washington.

I might have supported and even applauded Trump if he hadn’t approached this on a platform of hate, fear, distrust, and violence.  I have actually thought something did need to break the Washington Machine for it to ever change.  But this was the worst way it could have happened.  There was a tiny, secret part of me that actually thought that maybe he should win and people will get what they deserved and I hoped they would then regret what they did.  But I refused to ever say it.  I didn’t want to do anything to put any of that energy out into the world.  I didn’t really think he would win.

Congratulations to half of this country.  Your man won.  It just goes to show the country hasn’t progressed as far as we thought.  People who want to keep black people, Hispanics, Jewish people, Muslims, and women down so that they can continue to feel better about themselves have won.  People who feel that with the rise of all the people listed above that they have lost their power and that they need to take it back have won.  People who represent the lowest and worst of this country have won.  People with hate in their hearts have won.  People who think women are lower themselves and that women should have no control over their own bodies have won.  People who think men don’t need to control their own reactions and that women should be controlled in order to ‘protect them’ from the things they have been given the ‘go-ahead’ to do because ‘boys will be boys’ have won.

How is it that people who complain that Hilary is one of the ‘one percent’ have bought into the idea that Trump is not?  Trump came from money, always had money, borrowed a huge amount from his daddy to get his business started, and yet people think he knows what it is like to have to work his way up.  He never did.  He is a silver spoon baby and never knew what it was like to need money.   We don’t really know what he is worth because he wouldn’t provide his tax returns.  He did admit to finding enough loop holes to not pay any taxes for 13 years or something like that.  But he says he is worth a LOT but at the same time cheats his contractors and vendors by telling them thinks like, “we don’t have the money to pay you, we can only pay you 70 cents on the dollar.  You better take it because if you take it to court, you will probably win, but we can make it take so long that you will lose everything and go broke before you ever win.”

How is it that people will believe that a man who likes having portions of his companies overseas because he can pay the workers FAR less than he can in the United State will ever do anything to bring jobs back to the U.S.  He seems to think that he is some type of Roosevelt character who just has to build enough roads and bridges to put people back to work.  Roadwork goes on all year round here.  The roads are constantly being repaired.  Roadwork never stops.  Sure, many bridges are in a state where they need to be repaired.  But that was discovered years ago and most of those are in the process of being fixed all around this country.  He also implied that the problem with education is that we need more schools and he promised to build more schools and more hospitals.  We have enough schools and if you count Emergicare offices, we have facilities.  Building more isn’t going to solve the problems.  Repealing Obamacare isn’t going to help lower medical costs.  These issues are far deeper.  We need to pay teachers better; we need to make sure existing schools are supplied with the tools needed to teach kids.  We need to value students more as well.  Parents need to take more responsibility over their children’s behavior and student’s need to take more ownership of their own learning process.  The health industry has to stop gouging patients and more reasonable pricing needs to be put into place and enforced.  Building more schools and hospitals isn’t the solution.

One earbud fell out of my ear and I heard a girl near me say that her one vote wouldn’t make a difference.  The point is that if you put ever person saying that together, you have a block of votes that WOULD make a difference.  So I REALLY hate that saying.  Which leads me to how angry I feel towards people who didn’t vote for that reason, didn’t vote because they couldn’t be bothered, voted for third party candidates and threw away their vote or voted for a write-in and also threw away their vote.  Anyone voting for a write-in or a third party is actually voting for the person they LEAST want to win.  In nearly every case, that would have actually caused Trump to have lost those states rather than have won.

On the whole, I’m still in shock.  I could go on and on, but this is getting long enough as it is.  I’ve also lost my direction as I was working on this between tasks and at lunch.  I didn’t have the advantage of taking today off work.  There are so many things to talk about where this went wrong and will continue to go wrong that maybe I should save those for another time.

The Racist and Sexist History of Keeping Birth Control Side Effects Secret.

Posted in Education, Health, History, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 18, 2016 by urbannight

Here  is a very interesting article on the treatment of women by the health care industry.  Not my article.  I found it this morning and thought I would share it.  Also interesting if you are interested in History of Reproduction Rights or even in the History of Medicine.

 

Connections Between Missing Baby Lisa Irwin and the Movie The Tall Man

Posted in Economics, Economy, Education, Entertainment, Life, Movies and Theatre, Politics, Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 2, 2013 by urbannight

Lisa Renee Irwin went missing almost two years ago after her mom put her to bed and then had a few drinks. She would be almost three now. Half a year later, someone attempts to use a debit card stolen that same night on a website for buying false birth certificates. FBI thinks the baby is still alive.

So do I. Kidnapping babies to sell for illegal adoptions has been around for a long time. It is not as common as it once was. Now days, you are more likely to hear about people who kidnapped babies to raise as their own.

Still, after watching The Tall Man on Saturday, I can’t help but wonder. The thriller was well acted and I’ve seen worse acting and writing hit the big screen while this went straight to DVD, as far as I know. I never heard of it until it came up on my Netflix feed. I’m revealing the ultimate plot twist when I tell you that it ends up being about a woman who helps kidnap abused children and gets them to safety. It might not have been so objectionable except it wasn’t just abused children. It was children of poor families or single parents struggling to get by as well. It equated losing your job because the business closed to child abuse, as if you can control something like that.

Now think about it. There were a couple sightings of a man with a baby that night. Once I think was caught on video but maybe I’m thinking about a different case. Someone probably watched the family to get the pattern of behaviors down to know the best opportunity to take the baby. Imagine someone seeing a family where dad works the night shift and mom has a couple of drinks alone, after the kids are put to bed. Imagine the person thinking it was the perfect baby to take because the parents didn’t have an ideal, 8 – 9 lifestyle, and a June Cleaver mom. In fact, the person probably thought he or she was doing the baby a favor.

The movie came out after the kidnapping. But it glorified kidnapping children to save them. Even if the only thing they were saving the child from was poverty or less than perfect families rather than any real physical or emotional abuse. The reason it is an irresponsible movie is because this kind of kidnapping is still going on and should NOT be glorified.

Originally, I just wanted to look up any latest developments on the Lisa Irwin case. (I couldn’t find any) and complain about how the case just seemed to stop. I didn’t mean to turn it into a longer rant about the movie I watched a couple days ago.

Zombie Worms

Posted in Education, Science with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 19, 2013 by urbannight

Reading an article on a whale skeleton found in Antarctica, it mentioned ‘zombie worms’. The name is great but how does a worm without a mouth eat? I had to look it up.

Its actual name is Osedax and they seem to be a bright pink with feathery feels all around them, kind of like millipede legs.

Now to the question of the feeding, the drill into the bones. But they don’t have any drilling organs. They excrete acid. How is a good question since they appear not to have organs for that either.

Apparently, those feelers are the ‘drills’ that penetrate the bone and those feeler create and excrete an enzyme that dissolves the bone. The worms have some kind of bacteria that then absorbs the fats and other materials in the bones.

This is a very female dominated creature. Only adult females are found on the rare occasions that they find whale bones. The males don’t leave the larval stage and live inside a ‘gelatinous tube covering part of the female’. The only purpose for the male is to fertilize the eggs the female lays. It is interesting that the male actually can fertilize anything since they never make it to the adult stage. The female can house hundreds of these males.

Apparently, once a worm settles into a bone she starts producing eggs continually. (They eat, they reproduce, why am I suddenly thinking about Tribbles) The article that is supposed to explain how they reproduce doesn’t actually say anything else. Since the males live on the female, are the eggs fertilized as they are excreted or the males leave the female to go to the egg deposits and then return. Is it another enzyme excretion?

The worm can swim up to 10 days to find a source of bones to feed on. Found on whale bones, experiments have discovered that the worms will also feed on cow bones and other animals. So they are not as picky as pandas.

This article also shows worms that look very different from the feeding article. There are 5 known varieties so maybe they look a lot different from one another. Anoter article states they are very diverse.

Most of the articles I can find are just direct reprints of the two articles I’ve used here. Google it and you will find the same. I don’t have my books on correct notation forms with me.

When math goes sour….

Posted in Education, Entertainment with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 22, 2012 by urbannight

I loved math until the 5th or 6th grade. Before that, my mom got me math workbooks to do for fun at home and when we traveled. I used to make up my own math problems.  Big, elaborate addition and multiplication problems.  I would do subtraction and some division problems.  You can’t make such elaborate problems that way.

I remember having a bit of problem with fractions and I couldn’t really make them up on my own.  I also remember letters being added to find mystery numbers.  I LOVED those.  I would make up those as well.  The kind where letters and numbers were going on one side of an = sign and then more were going on the other side too.  I recognized that since I was making them up, I was probably making up unsolvable problems.  That didn’t detract from the entertainment and pure fun of trying to work them to see if I might actually come up with some solvable problems.

Then in 5th or 6th grade, don’t remember which, the teachers started to tell me that I had trouble with math and the put me in a special group that met during one of the recesses. So I lost a recess to work on math. Only my memory is that they just sat us at a table to give us extra time to work on math. I don’t actually remember any extra help.

In junior high, I also had to go to a special math group that met either during home room or I lost a lunch period to do it.  That was a once or twice a week thing.  I know I wasn’t missing that period every day every week.  I do remember that was a bit more structured.  The teacher would cover concepts that students were having trouble with.  Think of it as an extra, remedial, class that you took at the same time you were taking regular math classes.

Fast forward to High School. In the math classes I did take,  I ended up sitting next to people who were failing. I was able to help them understand the math and raise their grades to B’s. Yet I was still getting D’s and C’s.

I had so gotten the message that I was bad at math that even thought I understood the concepts enough that I could teach a failing student, I still made strange mistakes that it took my teachers 10 to 15 minutes to find. (my algebra teacher told me that the only way she could find where I went wrong was to redo my problems herself to try to find my mistake. She also told me that I made the strangest mistakes and not the ones that most people would make.)

To this day I wonder if I was really bad at math in grade school of if I was the victim of a teacher who didn’t really want to take the extra time with me when a new concept had been introduced that I might have needed more help with rather than just more time to do homework.

All I know for sure is that they took a child that loved numbers to no end and turned her into an adult that hates math and hates numbers.

Kristy’s View of Religion and Spirituality Simplified

Posted in Education, History, Life, Religion, Science with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 15, 2012 by urbannight

In response to a friend who was getting hit for saying she was an Atheist, I replied and ended up going farther than just the first paragraph.  Then I decided I might as well go all the way.  Or at least as far as I could on that particular platform.  This is what I ended up with.  The simplified version of how I look at religion with a little more on how Atheism in particular fits in.

You have as much right to be an atheist as anyone else has to their religion. Just as I believe in a sense of spirituality that all religions are attempting to express but that religions themselves are products of the cultures in which they were developed. Geneticists have also discovered that people with the deepest religious and spiritual connections have a gene that a lot of other people don’t have. I suspect I don’t and maybe you don’t. It makes it harder for those of use without it to get the point of it all. People with it are able to reach certain states that have been called ‘religious ecstasy” during times of prayer and worship and meditation that, to them, proves that their chosen path is true and therefore must be correct and right and the only way.

religious_discriminationSince my belief is that all paths are attempting to point to the same spiritual blanket over the world, there is no wrong path. Even Atheism is correct. But I believe, because religions are expressions created by man, that there can be flaws in all religions. One has to learn to separate the culture from the spiritual within any holy work. For example, many of the middle eastern attitudes towards women were not expressions of Islamic spirituality but expressions incorporated into Islam from the Bedouin tribes as they became Islamic. Just as many attitudes towards women in the early christian church were not part of the teachings of Jesus but incorporated from the cultures that influenced the development of the early church.

My approach to religions and spirituality does mean that one must read and watch more books, articles, and programs on history, culture, sociology, anthropology and sometimes archeology, and most definitely comparative religions.

Ultimately,true Atheism is the most challenging of all paths because a true Atheist must find their moral compass by trying to find the most basic truths of human interconnection untouched by religious guidance. I call it true Atheism because it is NOT a path of selfishness and self-centeredness as some try to say. Satanism, not the people who thing that is going off and sacrificing small animals and doing bad things, but the people who actually belong to the Church of Satan (or whatever the accurate name is) are following a path that is teaching the ideals of selfishness, the self comes first, do what feels good to you and who cares about the rest. Many people who belong do so because of a backlash against Christianity. But some do because they want a religion that gives them permission to be totally selfish and to make themselves more important and of more worth than the people around them. (Okay, I’ve probably over-simplified it, I admit). Ayn Rand’s philosophy is basically a secular version of this. And it is really something different from Atheism, despite what some Christians chose to say about Atheism.

Atheism strips religion away from morality to bring us Ethics and the need to find the core ethics we need to work and function as an interconnected society. Well, now you have Kristy’s views of Religion and Spirituality in a nutshell. I didn’t mean to write this much but it just all came out.