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Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Links - 12th January 2016

Is Teaching to a Student’s “Learning Style” a Bogus Idea? - "Harold Pashler of the University of California, San Diego, and his colleagues searched the research literature for exactly this kind of empirical evidence. They couldn't find any. One study they reviewed compared participants’ scores on the Verbalizer–Visualizer Questionnaire, a fifteen-item survey of true-or-false questions evaluating whether someone prefers auditory or optical information, with their scores on memory tests after presenting words via either pictures or verbal reading. On average, participants performed better on the free-recall test when they were shown images, regardless of their preferences. Some studies claimed to have demonstrated the effectiveness of teaching to learning styles, although they had small sample sizes, selectively reported data or were methodologically flawed. Those that were methodologically sound found no relationship between learning styles and performance on assessments. Willingham and Pashler believe that learning styles is a myth perpetuated merely by sloppy research and confirmation bias... When teachers wonder how to present a lesson to kids with a range of abilities, they may not find the answer in established learning style approaches. Instead, Willingham suggests keeping it simple. “It’s the material, not the differences among the students, that ought to be the determinant of how the teacher is going to present a lesson," he says. For example, if the goal is to teach students the geography of South America, the most effective way to do so across the board would be by looking at a map instead of verbally describing the shape and relative location of each country. “If there’s one terrific way that captures a concept for almost everybody, then you’re done.”"

Fact or Fiction?: NASA Spent Millions to Develop a Pen that Would Write in Space, whereas the Soviet Cosmonauts Used a Pencil - "The tips flaked and broke off, drifting in microgravity where they could potentially harm an astronaut or equipment. And pencils are flammable--a quality NASA wanted to avoid in onboard objects after the Apollo 1 fire."

Inuit vs. Eskimo - "In Canada, the term Inuit is preferred over Eskimo, which is considered offensive. What many people do not know is that using the term Inuit as a blanket term for all arctic people in Alaska is offensive – the opposite of the situation in Canada. Why? Because there are two main groups of arctic people in Alaska, the Yupik and the Iñupiat. The Yupik peoples are Eskimo but not Inuit. Quite understandably, they don’t like being called Inuit because they aren’t Inuit (and the word doesn’t even exist in Yupik languages). This means that it’s better to call arctic Alaskans Eskimos, not Inuit – or better yet, call them Yupik if they are Yupik, Iñupiat if they are Iñupiat, Cup’ik if they are Cup’ik, and so on... contrary to popular belief, there are also non-Eskimo indigenous peoples in Alaska: the Aleut (Unangan) as well as many different Native American groups"

Election Boycotts: Losing Voices and Votes - "Boycotting elections emerges as a "third option", but the boycott strategy presents a false option for voters and parties because it throws away a vote and voids the collective voice... Although the boycott strategy worked in South Africa's case, evidence shows that boycotting elections failed in most cases. When the opposition and voters boycott, they forget that elections are not just a one time effort. There is always the next election cycle. So why sit on the sideline and relegate the party voice to "non participant"? As found in 171 cases of the opposition choosing to boycott elections, the boycott strategy only worked 4 percent of the time, according to a 2010 study "Threaten but Participate: Why Election Boycotts Are a Bad Idea" by Matthew Frankel"

Students At Wesleyan Demand Abolition Of Free Press - "The petition calls for all copies of the Argus on campus to be thrown away until the paper gives in to all of the protesters’ demands. Those demands include creating a special front-page section dedicated to marginalized voices and forcing all Argus staff to be trained in social justice and diversity once per term, among other things. The paper just might have to give in. The Wesleyan Student Assembly has control over some of the Argus’s funding, and both the president and vice president have endorsed the petition... “People whispered “racist” or other pleasantries under their breath when I passed. In a cafe, an activist berated me in public for 15 minutes,” Stascavage writes. “According to one commenter on my column, my picture is being posted online with comments that ‘seem to be calling for violence’ against me.” At one point, he says, activists stormed into the Argus’s offices and screamed at editors, demanding that the entire next issue be dedicated to apologizing."

Mexican Ceviche Recipe - "In Mexico when they make this they often add sea water (not recommened)."

Stories differ inside and outside court - "Nearly half the men said nagging or complaining contributed to the broken marriage, while only 27 per cent of women said so"

‘I Want to Be a Boy Scout.’ There’s Just One Hitch. - - "“I want to be a Boy Scout,” Allie Westover, 13, told a panel of men in khaki uniforms weighted by pins and patches. She dropped a scout application in front of them. Then so did her sister, Skyler, and three friends: Ella Jacobs, Daphne Mortenson and Taylor Alcozer." In a year in which gender roles in traditional American institutions have undergone major changes and challenges, a fight in Northern California over joining the Boy Scouts is among the most recent points of contention. These girls — the latest of many over the decades who have sought to become Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts instead of Brownies and Girl Scouts — say they would rather be camping and tying knots than selling cookies... Title IX, the federal law that prohibits discrimination by sex, carves out an exception for the Boy Scouts, allowing them to exclude members based on gender."
If the Boy Scouts admit girls, are they still the Boy Scouts?

1 in 3 Singaporeans travel to shop: Survey - "Singaporeans continue to live up to their reputation as avid shoppers, as 36 per cent of them go on holiday mainly to rack up purchases, according to a survey by insurance company AIG. In a media release on Thursday (Nov 19) AIG said the survey also found that 56 per cent of respondents said shopping holidays are the most desired type of holiday. Other top reasons for going on holiday include getting away for a weekend break (21 per cent), the desire to visit an exotic destination (12 per cent), and the need for a luxurious getaway (4 per cent)."

MSNBC's 'No-Fly List Is Islamophobia' Poster Boy Arrested in Turkey as Part of ISIS Cell - "A man, who just two years ago was the poster boy for the far-Left media's attacks against the U.S. government's no-fly list for "unfairly" targeting Muslims, finds himself and several family members sitting in a Turkish prison -- arrested earlier this month near the Turkey-Syria border as members of an ISIS cell."

Is the World Against China? - "my colleague in the College of Communication talks about conscious skepticism among her students. And that’s a foreign term in China. From an American perspective, every reader and writer should have that, but in China they don’t get that. It is somewhat related to the government-controlled media, but in 5,000 years of Chinese history, it has not been a big part of education. In other words, here in the United States, it is a very, very important mission for the media to report what the government does wrong. Anti-government is too strong a word, but basically the Western media has that mission to reveal anything that goes wrong with the government. In the Western media business, if you simply report that the government did this for us, it’s two sentences and you’re done, because not a lot of readers are interested in reading this. But in China, people basically don’t have that mind-set. They are used to hearing that the government did this and that for us."

Sex Ed Lesson: ‘Yes Means Yes,’ but It’s Tricky - The New York Times - "“What does that mean — you have to say ‘yes’ every 10 minutes?” asked Aidan Ryan, 16, who sat near the front of the room. “Pretty much,” Ms. Zaloom answered. “It’s not a timing thing, but whoever initiates things to another level has to ask”.. The students did not seem convinced. They sat in groups to brainstorm ways to ask for affirmative consent. They crossed off a list of options: “Can I touch you there?” Too clinical. “Do you want to do this?” Too tentative. “Do you like that?” Not direct enough. “They’re all really awkward and bizarre,” one girl said... Corey Mock, a student at the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga, was expelled after officials there found him guilty of sexual misconduct because he could not prove he had obtained verbal consent from a woman who accused him of sexual assault. But a Davidson County Chancery Court judge ruled in August that the university had “improperly shifted the burden of proof and imposed an untenable standard upon Mr. Mock to disprove the accusation.” The judge called the university’s ruling “arbitrary and capricious.”

Affirmative consent: the ultimate romance-killer - "The impromptu kiss between Owen and Claire in Jurassic World left women swooning and men hoping to emulate Owen. The scene in Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince where Ginny asks Harry to close his eyes before softly kissing him does not bring to mind the word ‘assault’. And in The Notebook, Noah grabbing and kissing Allie in the pouring rain after being reunited is incredibly romantic, despite his use of force. In all these films, there was no explicit consent, no breathalyser, no contract – not even a request for permission... Sometimes people misread the moment, and try to kiss someone who doesn’t want to be kissed. Some people are simply bad with social cues. Misreading a situation and feeling embarrassed and apologetic afterwards is an honest and forgivable mistake. That is, unless you’re in California or New York, where misreading the desires of another would be seen as sexual assault. Whether the outcome of attempting a kiss is romantic or humiliating, you better pray the person you’re going for is not someone who would ruin your life over it. To take it a step further, the New York and California affirmative-consent laws assert that ‘consent must be ongoing throughout a sexual activity’. This concept has been portrayed in short films such as Feminism For Bros – 105. The actors hooking up in this short speak throughout the entire sexual encounter, ensuring every touch, every kiss, every movement is acceptable. The whole scenario strikes me as awkward, forced and unappealing."

George W. Bush’s greatest legacy — his battle against AIDS - "This is a moment for all Americans to be proud of the best thing George W. Bush did as president: launching an initiative to combat AIDS in Africa that has saved millions of lives... some of these men and women would be dead if not for Bush’s foresight and compassion... When the Bush administration inaugurated the program in 2003, fewer than 50,000 HIV-infected people on the African continent were receiving the antire­troviral drugs that keep the virus in check and halt the progression toward full-blown AIDS. By the time Bush left office, the number had increased to nearly 2 million. Today, the United States is directly supporting antiretroviral treatment for more than 4 million men, women and children worldwide, primarily in Africa. This is an amazing accomplishment, especially because it wasn’t supposed to be possible... 11 African countries — including some of the hardest-hit by the epidemic — are providing antire­troviral drug treatment to well over half of their citizens infected with HIV... Bush’s initial multibillion-dollar commitment to PEPFAR was not really justifiable on grounds of national security, except perhaps in the broadest possible sense. The administration was motivated instead by altruism. It was the right thing to do."

The Social Side of Eating - "Women, for example, eat less calories when they’re eating with men than when they eat with women. Both men and women eat less in front of a stranger of the opposite sex, but women eat particularly less if the guy is attractive. In general, people eat about as much as they see other eating, and eat more when in larger groups of people or when we think other people have eaten more. Even more impressively, how much you like a food item can be influenced by seeing the like or dislike of that food by others. But the changes aren’t limited to just who is around in terms of number and gender – their relationship to us has a big impact as well. Guys eat more around their guy friends than male strangers. In fact, men eat more around their guy friends than any other pairing of people. Couples and females around strangers eat much, much less."

The Koreans who televise themselves eating dinner - "How do you fancy eating your dinner at home in front of a webcam and letting thousands of people watch? If they like the way you eat, they will pay you money - maybe a few hundred dollars a night... a good salary for doing what you would do anyway. This is happening now in South Korea... It feels like a dinner party where the diners are talking from different rooms. "They like to see me eat but we also have lots of conversations," says Lee Chang-hyun. "We talk about everything. I even give them counselling about problems they might have so we have a real relationship.""

Relationship Experts Recommend Single Women Try Bathing In Open Stream Until Suitor Glimpses Them Through Trees - The Onion - America's Finest News Source

BBC World Service - The Food Chain, Chinatown - "There was a huge economic decline in the 1870s... there was a huge anti-Chinese violence. There were shootings and lynchings and, you know, just mob attacks towards these people because they were considered people who were just stealing their jobs. It was almost like a tension with outsourcing now. And so the Chinese were basically driven out: both geographically from a lot of areas and also from being employed. And so what happened was the Chinese gravitated towards 2 areas. The first one is laundries and the second was restaurants. And these are both women's work and thus not threatening to the American male. And so you find restaurants actually being the heart of Chinatowns, not just in the United States but all over the world"
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