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Sunday, November 05, 2006

"An alcoholic is someone you don't like who drinks as much as you do." - Dylan Thomas


CDTLink: Is Quantitative Student Feedback Useful? - "Student feedback scores often have a direct or indirect impact on the faculty member’s annual performance bonus, and may influence his/her chances of tenure and promotion, especially if the scores are particularly low.... There is a common perception that it is easier to achieve higher student feedback scores when teaching higher level modules. Figure 5 shows the overall feedback scores plotted according to module levels (1 to 6). It is clear that the minimum feedback scores improve significantly for higher level modules, while the maximum remains approximately constant (the average score increases with level)."
Wah, so funky. I didn't know their bonuses depended on teaching. Still, it'd be so much more helpful (and cheaper) if they made us give feedback *after* we got our results. Not least since if their bonuses/promotions depend on feedback, there is a temptation to retaliate against those who give bad feedback. Hell, it's like eBay feedback.

Halal food | The crescent and the canteen - "Entrepreneurs are good at satisfying niche appetites, large institutions often less so. But British universities are changing. Last November students at Leicester University persuaded their union cafeteria to ban pork and go exclusively halal. Sheffield Hallam University now boasts an on-campus branch of Hally Ally's, a halal fast-food outfit. Two further branches of the chain are expected to follow in other northern universities by the end of the year."

Rational, educated and prosperous: just your average suicide bomber -"Suicide bombers are not all poor, uneducated, religious fanatics or madmen, as many people believe. Research on the social and psychological background of terrorists show they tend to be more prosperous and better educated than most in their societies, and no more religious or irrational than the average person. A study of Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad suicide terrorists from the late 1980s to 2003 found only 13 per cent were from a poor background, compared with 32 per cent of the Palestinian population in general, according to a New Scientist report."
Ideology does matter, despite the nonsense some spout.

EULAlyzer - "EULAlyzer can analyze license agreements in seconds, and provide a detailed listing of potentially interesting words and phrases. Discover if the software you're about to install displays pop-up ads, transmits personally identifiable information, uses unique identifiers to track you, or much much more."

The trivia king learns something new - "Trivia, notes Jennings in "Brainiac," didn't come by its current meaning -- "questions and answers about unusual bits of everyday knowledge" -- until the 1960s. But, he adds, the interest in those bits of knowledge goes back decades earlier, to at least 1927, when the book "Ask Me Another!" became a best-seller. "Ask Me Another!" was followed by radio quiz shows, which begat TV quiz shows, "GE College Bowl," high school and college quiz bowl teams, Trivial Pursuit, bar trivia games, and all the attendant paraphernalia: the "Guinness Book of World Records," Fred L. Worth's "Trivia Encyclopedia," the Wallace/Wallechinsky "People's Almanacs" and "Books of Lists," Mental Floss magazine and "10,000 Answers," among many other key source materials."

MetaGeek.Net: Home of Wi-Spy - "Wi-Spy™ is the world's smallest 2.4 GHz spectrum analyzer*. Wi-Spy is perfect for troubleshooting interference from the following devices: Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g/n), Microwave Ovens, Cordless Phones, Zigbee, Bluetooth"

University challenge, a starter for life - "As sixth-formers prepare to submit their applications to Oxford and Cambridge universities before Sunday’s deadline, a study of 1,200 students has revealed some of the quirkier lines of inquiry from tutors who interview candidates... Last year’s applicants to study politics, philosophy and economics at Oxford claim to have been asked: “If there were three beautiful, naked women standing in front of you, which one would you pick? And does this have any relevance to economics?” Others applying for places on the same course said that they were asked to price a teapot or compare Tony Blair with a 19th-century politician."

ZUG: Comedy Articles: Electronic Road Signs and Me - "Recently a construction company left a pair of these signs in my neighborhood, blasting out their pointless messages. Being a creative tinkerer, I decided to do something about it... With only a few minutes of road sign hacking, I had programmed an homage to the 1951 sci-fi film The Day The Earth Stood Still, the phrase that was used to stop Gort, the robot in the film, from taking over the world."
Instead of rowing together with the authorities, he shook the book. The nerve. He should be jailed for public mischief.

USB Fiber-Optic Christmas Tree

China warns Zambia - "China will sever diplomatic ties with Zambia if opposition leader Michael Sata wins this month's general elections and recognizes Taiwan as a sovereign state, a senior diplomat has said."
Ho ho. Interfering in another country's internal affairs!
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