nightvisioncarrotsAs far as I know, my parents only lied to me twice (it wasn’t their fault.) They were passing down lies told to them.

Here are the two lies:
1. Bundle up or you will catch cold.
2. Eat more carrots to improve you vision (especially your night vision.)

LIES!

1. “Catching cold” comes from being in contact with the rhinovirus. Being cold doesn’t affect the catching, unless you’re outside in close contact with a bunch of sick people. (To be perfectly clear, being cold might lower your immune system response to increase susceptibility to a rhinovirus you’re already exposed to, but you didn’t *acquire* the cold from just being cold. Make sense?)*

2. Carrots, like all vegetables, are good for your health, but the connection between vision and carrots came from an RAF disinformation campaign during WWII. We didn’t want the Nazis to know we had radar.**

Don’t worry, I’m not bitter and I’ve eaten a lot of carrots.

* http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Can_you_catch_a_cold_from_being_in_the_cold?#slide=2
** http://www.snopes.com/food/ingredient/carrots.asp

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I love this part:

But the model we have is this. It’s I believe we have a system of education which is modeled on the interest of industrialism. and in the image of it. I’ll give you a couple examples. Schools are still pretty much organized on factory lines. On ringing bells, separate facilities, specialized into separate subjects.

We still educate children by batches. You know, we put them through the system by age group. Why do we do that? You know, why is there this assumption that the most important thing kids have in common is how old they are. You know, it’s like the most important thing about them is their date of manufacture.

Sir Ken Robinson-Changing Paradigms [full transcript]

But the model we have is this. It’s I believe we have a system of education which is modeled on the interest of industrialism. and in the image of it. I’ll give you a couple examples. Schools are still pretty much organized on factory lines. On ringing bells, separate facilities, specialized into separate subjects.

We still educate children by batches. You know, we put them through the system by age group. Why do we do that? You know, why is there this assumption that the most important thing kids have in common is how old they are. You know, it’s like the most important thing about them is their date of manufacture.

Every country on earth at the moment is reforming public education. There are two reasons for it.

The first of them is economic. People are trying to work out, how do we educate our children to take their place in the economies of the 21st century. How do we do that? Even though we can’t anticipate what the economy will look like at the end of next week,as the recent turmoil has demonstrated. How do you do that?

The second though is cultural. Every country on earth on earth is trying to figure out how do we educate our children so they have a sense of cultural identity, so that we can pass on the cultural genes of our communities. While being part of the process globalization, how do you square that circle? The problem is they are trying to meet the future by doing what they did in the past.

And on the way they are alienating millions of kids who don’t see any purpose in going to school. When we went to school we were kept there with the story, which is if you worked hard and did well and got a college degree you’d have a job. Our kids don’t believe that, and they are right not to by the way.

You are better having a degree than not, but it’s not a guarantee anymore. And particularly not if the route to it marginalizes most of the things that you think are important about yourself.

Some people say we have to raise standards if this is a breakthrough. You know… really. Yes, we should. Why would you lower them? You know…I haven’t come across an argument that persuades me they’ve lowered them. But raising them, of course we should raise them.

The problem is that the current system of education was designed and conceived and structured for a different age. It was conceived in the intellectual culture of the Enlightenment, and in the economic circumstances of the Industrial Revolution.

Before the middle of the nineteenth century there were no systems of public education. Not really, you’d get educated by Jesuits if you had the money.

But public education paid for from taxation, compulsory to everybody and free at the point of delivery, that was a revolutionary idea. And many people objected to it. They said it’s not possible for many street kids working class children to benefit from public education. They are incapable of learning to read and write and why are we spending time on this?

So there was also built into the whole series of assumptions about social structuring capacity. It was driven by an economic imperative of the time, but running right through it, was an intellectual model of the mind, which was essentially the Enlightenment view of intelligence.

The real intelligence consisted in this capacity for certain type of deductive reasoning, and a knowledge of the Classics originally, what we’ve come to think of as academic ability. And this is deep in the gene pool of public education.

There are really two types of people. Academic and non academic. Smart people and non smart people. And the consequence of that is that many brilliant people think they are not, because they’ve been judged against this particular view of the mind. So we have twin pillars, economic and intellectual.

And my view is that this model has caused chaos in many people’s lives. And it’s been great for some – there have been people who benefited wonderfully from it, but most people have not.

(MOST people)Instead they suffered this. This is the modern epidemic, and it’s as misplaced as it is fictitious. This is the plague of ADHD.

[Now this is a map of the instance of ADHD in America. Or prescriptions for ADHD]

Don’t mistake me I don’t mean to say there is no such thing as attention deficit disorder. I’m not qualified to say if there isn’t such a thing.

I know that a great majority of psychologists and pediatricians think there’s such a thing. – but it’s still a matter of debate.

What I do know for a fact is it’s not an epidemic. These kids of being medicated as routinely as we have our tonsils taken out. And on the same whimsical basis and for the same reason medical fashion.

Our children are living in the most intensely stimulating period in the history of the earth. They are being besieged with information and parse their attention from every platform, computers, from iPhones, from advertising holdings from hundreds of television channels.

And we are penalizing them for getting distracted. From what? Boring stuff. At school for the most part It seems to me not a conscience totally that the instance of ADHD has risen in parallel with the growth of standardized testing. And these kids are being given Ritalin and Adderall and all manner of things.

Often quite dangerous drugs to get them focused and calm them down. But according to this attention deficit disorder increases as you travel east across the country. People start losing interest in Oklahoma. (laughs) They can hardly think straight in Arkansas. And by the time they get to Washington they’ve lost it completely. (laughs) And there are separate reasons for that, I believe. It’s a fictitious epidemic. If you think of it, the Arts – and I don’t say this is exclusively the Arts, I think it’s also true of Science and of Maths. I say about the Arts particularly because they are the victims of this mentality currently.

Particularly. The Arts especially address the idea of Aesthetic experience. An aesthetic experience is one in which your senses are operating at their peak. When you’re present in the current moment. When you are resonating with the excitement of this thing that you’re experiencing. When you are fully alive.

And anesthetic is when you shut your senses off, and deaden yourself what’s happening. And a lot of these drugs are that. We’re getting our children through education by anesthetizing them. And I think we should be doing the exact opposite. We shouldn’t be putting them asleep, we should be waking them up, to what they have inside of themselves.

But the model we have is this. It’s I believe we have a system of education which is modeled on the interest of industrialism. and in the image of it. I’ll give you a couple examples. Schools are still pretty much organized on factory lines. On ringing bells, separate facilities, specialized into separate subjects.

We still educate children by batches. You know, we put them through the system by age group. Why do we do that? You know, why is there this assumption that the most important thing kids have in common is how old they are. You know, it’s like the most important thing about them is their date of manufacture.

Well I know kids who are much better than other kids at the same age in different disciplines. You know, or at different times of the day, or better in smaller groups than in large groups or sometimes they want to be on their own.

If you are interested in the model of learning you don’t start from this production line mentality. This is essentially about conformity. Increasingly it’s about that as you look at the growth of standardized testing and standardized curricula. and it’s about standardization. I believe we’ve got go in the exact opposite direction. That’s what I mean about changing the paradigm.

There is a great study done recently on divergent thinking – Published a couple years ago. Divergent thinking isn’t the same thing as creativity. I define creativity as the process of having original ideas which have value. Divergent thinking isn’t a synonym, but it’s an essential capacity for creativity. It’s the ability to see lots of possible answers to a question. Lots of possible ways of interpreting a question. To think, what Edward de Bono publicly called laterally. To think not just in linear or convergent ways. To see multiple answers and not one.

So I made up a test for this. I mean one called the cod example would be people might be asked to say: How many uses can you think of for a paper clip? Follows routine questions. Most people might come with 10 or 15. People who are good at this might come with 200. And they do that by saying. Well, could the paper clip be 200 foot tall and be made of foam rubber? You know… like does it have to be a paper clip as we know it, Jim?

The test is this. They gave them to 1500 people in a book called Breakpoint and Beyond. And on the protocol of the test if you scored above a certain level, you’d be considered to be a genius of divergent thinking. So my question to you is: what percentage of the people tested of the 1500 scored genius level for divergent thinking? I need to know one more thing about them.

These were kindergarten children…. So what do you think? What percentage of genius level? -80 80, OK? 98% Now the thing about this was a longitudinal study. So they retested the same children five years later, ages of 8-10. What do you think? -50? They retested them again 5 years later, ages 13-15. You can see a trend here coming.

Now, this tells an interesting story. Because you could’ve imagined they’re going the other way. Could you? You start off not being very good but you get better as you get older. But this shows 2 things: One is we all have this capacity and Two: It mostly deteriorates.

Now a lot have happened to these kids as they grown up, a lot. But one of the most important things happened that I’m convinced is that by now they’ve become educated. They spend 10 years in school being told there is one answer, it’s at the back, and don’t look. And don’t copy because that’s cheating. I mean outside school that’s called collaboration but, inside schools.

This isn’t because teachers wanted this way it’s just because it happens that way. It’s because it’s in the gene pool of education.

We have to think different about human capacity. We have to get over this old conception of academic, non academic. Abstract, theoretical, vocational and see it for what it is: a Myth.

Second, we have to recognize most great learning happens in groups. That collaboration is the stuff of growth.

If we atomize people and separate them a judge them separately, we form a kind of disjunction between them and their natural learning environment.

And thirdly, it’s crucially about the culture of our institutions. The habits of institutions and the habitats that they occupy.

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shrunk_trapped-031

  • you can have a million dollars to launch your best entrepreneurial idea. what is it? (amazon.com)
  • if you were to get rid of one state in the US, which would it be and why? (forrester)
  • how many quarters would you need to reach the height of the empire state building? (jet blue)
  • calculate the angle of two clock pointers when the time is 11:50 (bank of america)
  • if you were shrunk to the size of a pencil and put in a blender, how would you get out? (Goldman sachs)
  • you are a head chef at a restaurant and your team has been selected to be on Iron Chef. How do you prepare your team for the competition and how to you leverage the competition for your restaurant? (Accenture)
  • Why are manhole covers round? (Google)
  • If you could be anyone else, who would it be? (Petco)
  • How would you direct someone else to cook an omelet? (salesforce.com)
  • It’s 6pm and your work day is over; what happened during the day that made it awesome? (facebook)

src: http://www.payscale.com/career-news/2013/04/why-employers-ask-unusual-interview-questions-infographic

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Children deserve both a mom and a dad. It’s Nature.

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a-got-milk-4-e1288023047955Taste the Rainbow
Skittles, or Ravenous lion at gay parade
Think Different
Apple, or kid who wasn’t paying attention during the adverb lesson at school
Think outside the Bun
Taco Bell, or Sesame Seed Growers of America
Finger lickin’ Good
KFC, or Creepy wedding ring appraiser
Plop, Plop, Fizz, Fizz
Alka Seltzer, or Porta potties
Because you’re worth it
L’Oreal, or Rich man to a hooker
Two for me, none for you
Twix, or Exwife
Once you pop, you can’t stop
Pringles, or Teenage girl with acne
Like a rock
Chevy Trucks, or Burger King Breakfasts 5 minutes post-consumption
Mmm Mmm Good!
Campbell’s Soup, or Gagged Stockholm Syndrome hostage when asked how he’s doing
Got Milk?
Dairy Farmers of America, or Talking child who is too old to be still breast feeding

Original RBDN content! Special Thanks to collaborator CBB

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bible-book-of-mormonIn 1991, the Library of Congress and the Book-of-the-Month Club conducted a survey (via the Information Analysis System Corporation of Mansfield Center, Conn.), by sending this question to 5,000 Book-of-the-Month club members, (2,032 of whom responded): “Which books have been the most influential in your life?

Here were the results:

  1. The Bible.
  2. “Atlas Shrugged,” by Ayn Rand.
  3. “The Road Less Traveled,” by M. Scott Peck.
  4. “To Kill a Mockingbird,” by Harper Lee.
  5. “The Lord of the Rings,” by J. R. R. Tolkien.
  6. “Gone With the Wind,” by Margaret Mitchell.
  7. “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” by Dale Carnegie.
  8. The Book of Mormon.
  9. (tied, in alphabetical order by title) “The Feminine Mystique,” by Betty Friedan., “A Gift From the Sea,” by Anne Morrow Lindbergh., “Man’s Search for Meaning,” by Viktor Frankl., “Passages,” by Gail Sheehy. and “When Bad Things Happen to Good People,” by Harold S. Kushner.

How many of them have you read?

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2or3_headerThe poet Sarah Kay once said that if you can’t write poetry, you can at least make lists. Here is mine.

ten things I know to be true

  1. Parenthood and marriage are worth it.
  2. Life is, at once, profoundly sad, wildly exhilarating, empoweringly hopeful and wickedly depressing.
  3. Choosing a path, because it’s the most challenging one you can find, is not a bad strategy. Adversity’s a good teacher.
  4. Life is an exercise in collecting (through living them) exciting, worthwhile stories. Choose your stories wisely.
  5. It feels really good to build things. And destroy things. And to punch someone in the face.
  6. What’s it all about? Light and Shadow.
  7. You can’t change people. You can’t.
  8. I’m not bound by the actions of the aggregate. I get to choose my own adventure.
  9. Learning is doing and doing is fun.
  10. Ultimately, happiness is a choice

Next, what are Ten Things I(YOU) Should Have Learned By Now?

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Recently I graduated from the Young Saponification Institute (South Jordan campus.) That’s where I learned of vodka and yogurt. But I’m getting ahead of myself. First, you’ll need to go to Lowes.

Normally I don’t recommend Lowes. That’s because Real Men Shop At the Home Depot. The problem is that Lowes sells Lye and the Home Depot doesn’t. We’re going to need Lye for this. Here is a full ingredient list. Oh, we’re making homemade soap:

  1. Olive Oil (cheapest stuff you can find. look for Pure, not virgin)
  2. Lye (a.k.a. Sodium Hydroxide, a.k.a. Drain Cleaner)
  3. Lard (find this at Walmart in the Mexican aisle)
  4. Water (well, ice water)
  5. Coconut Oil

Okay. Time to suit up. You’ll need an apron and goggles. Lye is dangerous stuff and demands your respect. Next, find a digital scale with a tare button. Now locate a wooden spoon, some plasticy baking paper (Don’t use aluminum foil with lye. Lye eats aluminum foil.),  and some Tupperware containers with lids. Hit up the Internet and order a bin of “soap dye.” Race down to Foothill Village and buy some soap fragrance.

OKAY. Now you’re ready.

Remember A&W Root Beer. That’s your mnemonic device to help you remember that your pour Acids (or bases) into Water, and NOT Water into an Acid (or base.) A&W. Got it? Good.

Okay, so start some water boiling on the stove. Then get two metal bowls. In the first bowl measure out (on your digital scale) the olive oil, lard and coconut oil according to this chart (in grams):

chart

Next, place that bowl full of oils and lard onto the boiling water pan on the oven (double-boiler style) until the concoction all melts together. While that is melting, in the other bowl add ice and a bit of water until it weighs enough (again, per the chart.) Next, place some plasticy paper on the scale and measure out the Lye. (be wary wary careful.) When you combine the lye to the water (REMEMBER A&W!), it will get rather hot.

Then, add the lye-water to the oils– watch out for splashes. Neutralize them with an acid like vinegar.  Get out a hand blender and blend for 15 minutes until “trace.” Trace is when you can move a wooden spoon in the mixture and see the, um, trace of it. Add the fragrance and the coloring once traits happens. FYI: the lie will eventually eat the wooden spoon.

In case you’re wondering, there are two types of soap making. Cold and hard press. Cold takes longer (weeks longer.) Hot means you throw the stuff into your oven at 180° overnight.

Back to the soap dye: take a teeny bit of water and a teeny bit of in a very teeny bit of soap guy. And at that to the soap mixture. It will get darker over time. And for the fragrance/essential oil: add about a quarter vial of perfume to quarter batch of soap.

Okay. now you’re ready to pour it all into mold. Keep it warm for a few hours. Then let it set for a few weeks. To test to see if it’s ready, lick it. If it zings like a 9v battery, it isn’t ready. Seriously.

That’s all folks. Easy peasy. Why haven’t you made soap already?!?

 

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Everybody has New Year’s Resolutions, which we promptly break. These are different– they’re REVOLUTIONS!

Here is what I will do this year, 2013:

  1. Get nominated as “Man of the Year” in some magazine
  2. Become hooked on and bravely recover from an addiction to FunDip
  3. Build a giant rocket in my backyard
  4. Develop a convincing British accent
  5. Post a video blog of me Moon Walking
  6. Work at McDonalds for a week
  7. Buy an acre of land in the desert, rent a backhoe and see how big of a hole I can dig
  8. Use more Latin in casual conversation
  9. Become a world-renowned pastry chef
  10. Write and publish a book, “Success in Raising Awesome Kids”
  11. Release a killer iPhone app
  12. Learn to fly a helicopter
  13. Win another competitive eating contest
  14. Host a gallery showing/open house of my paintings and sculptures
  15. Memorize the names of all the countries in the world
  16. Sing for money on a subway train or on a bus
  17. Unsuccessfully quit Facebook, again.

What are your New Year’s REVOLUTIONS? List them here: http://www.43things.com/

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Warning! Attention! Achtung! People don’t tell you, but Les Mis contains incessant singing. They even sing the lines of dialogue. There is nary a half-dozen spoken words in the entire film.

Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy a good ditty just like the next guy.  Singing is like hot sauce, it’s good in moderation. It spices things up, and brings flavor to ordinary life. But can you imagine if all of your food were drenched in chili sauce? It would be horrible. Put another way, if  you were around someone who constantly sang, you’d probably punch them in the throat.  I love a good musical. But musicals have spoken dialogue interspersed with the occasional song. Les Mis is ONE THREE HOUR SONG. You have been warned.

In fact, we all should have been formally alerted. Like movies with excessive violence or nudity, musical films that contain an over-abundance of song should contain dire disclaimers at their beginning. Hollywood, are you listening?!?

Still, there are valuable lessons to be learned from this film. For example, if at first your revolution doesn’t succeed, hopefully your father is part of the rich aristocracy, so you can go on living your pandered, indulgent life. Also, watch out for cannons, ’cause they kill.

But ryanbyrddotnet, you protest, everyone is ranting that this movie is the best movie of the year! That may be what they are saying. On the other hand, a recent study found that 1 in 15 Americans uses marijuana daily. And studies have shown that prolonged use of marijuana will lower your IQ by eight points. You can draw your own conclusions from that, if you DARE.

Les Miserable (French for “less miserable”, as in “watch other films of you’d like to be less miserable”), was so good, the audience clapped at the end of this film. That act alone is puzzling. Why not give the screen a standing ovation? Why not throw roses at the digital projector? To clarify, one claps, so that the actors can hear your appreciation for their efforts. It’s for their congratulations. Be advised and stop clapping, Utah.

Oh, and Amanda Seyfried (Cosette) has really big eyeballs. Also this movie is just shy of seven hours long. So if they ask you if you want to super-size your popcorn, the answer is yes. Also, bring a colostomy bag. Because you’re going to need to vacate your bowels. twice.

And Hathaway looks like a turtle. A male turtle.

 

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