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New Mexico Bill To Protect Anti-Science Education

Wildcat J Re:What scientists... (726 comments)

Many public-school science teachers are not even educated as scientists.

Are you sure about that? At least here, to teach high school science subjects, you generally need to be qualified to do so. My wife has a BS and MA in chemistry, with an undergraduate minor in biology. This qualifies her to teach both subjects, if she takes the subject tests to get certified (she's only certified for chemistry, so that she doesn't have to teach bio). I'm reasonably certain that the entire science department has science, versus education, undergraduate degrees--in fact, my wife may be the only one with a formal education degree (MEd).

Actual scientists can command salaries higher than what teachers are paid, so very few people who graduate with a science degree are willing to work in a public high school.

This is not really our experience, but your mileage may vary. Before going back to grad school for her MEd, my wife was making roughly the same money working as a senior lab analyst. The benefits were a little better, though.

more than 3 years ago
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The Rise of Nanofoods

Wildcat J Re:That's great and all... (369 comments)

Look at it this way: I don't care for the taste of horseradish--it tastes like varnish to me--but I can't discount the fact that a lot of people really enjoy it.

It's not fair to presume the reasons why some of us enjoy beer. If it were really as simple as:

People. Drink. Beer. To. Get. High.

then everyone would drink inexpensive beer with high alcohol content (Steel Reserve, I'm looking in your direction). And some people do. But as far as I'm concerned, I'd actually prefer to be less affected by the alcohol.

I'm not going to get on any high horse about "refined palates," but for just about any food or drink, you can find someone who cares about it more than you do, and they've usually spent a lot of time discriminating between qualities that others might not perceive. It's no skin off my nose.

more than 4 years ago
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Ted Dziuba Says, "I Don't Code In My Free Time"

Wildcat J Re:Ted Dziuba (619 comments)

His point is obvious enough to anyone who bothers to read the first two paragraphs

There were so many negatives in the summary I drew a Venn diagram and I still couldn't work it out.

I didn't not draw a Karnaugh map, myself.

more than 5 years ago
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Star Guard — an Old-School Platformer Done Right

Wildcat J Re:Just watched the video... (107 comments)

Built around the Motorola MC6845 display controller, the CGA card featured several graphics and text modes. The highest resolution of any mode was 640×200, and the highest color depth supported was 4-bit (16 colors). [wikipedia.org]

That's technically true, but for all practical purposes, you got four colors and liked them. From your Wikipedia link, the 16 color mode was a special trick from 80x25 text mode. I played a lot of games on a CGA monitor--to this day, those godawful palettes are burned into my memory--and I don't recall ever seeing any game use that mode.

As for the PC speaker, I can remember the Windows driver that made it a PCM device, and it was passable but low-quality and used a lot of CPU. Some games made a valiant go of it, but there's a reason why the Adlib and Sound Blaster cards became so prevalent.

more than 5 years ago
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Artist Not Allowed To Stream His Own Music

Wildcat J Re:Time for an indie-myspace (423 comments)

I second that; with a single upload they'll provide downloads in any format, with any pricing scheme your little heart desires. You can tag your songs with a Creative Commons license, too. From a nerdy standpoint, it seems like they really "get it".

It does seem to lack the networking features of a MySpace, though. As revolting as MySpace may be, it makes it very easy to jump in and start making connections (of course, most of those connections are probably to porn spam-bots).

more than 5 years ago
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Jack Kirby Heirs Reclaim Marvel/Disney Rights

Wildcat J Re:Wow! (380 comments)

Hyperbolic overuse of the words "literally" and "raped" has literally raped them of all meaning! (everyone else was discussing semantics; I just wanted to be popular)

more than 5 years ago
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Why Is It So Difficult To Fire Bad Teachers?

Wildcat J Re:Simple answer (1322 comments)

Have you even SEEN a public school lately?

Public schools do not do ANY lab experiments any more. Most of them don't even have a gas hookup at the teacher's desk in a science classroom. Hell, bring in a couple tabs of alka-seltzer to demonstrate the process of effervesence and you're likely to get dragged off under some "zero tolerance" medications policy.

I'm not going to get involved in the homeschooling argument here, but this is patently untrue. My wife teaches high school chemistry in a district that's stretched so thin they're letting several hundred employees go this year, but she and the other chemistry teacher still do labs. Yes, sometimes the supplies are more limited than she would like, but the lab is an essential part of her classroom.

more than 5 years ago
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EFF Says Obama Warrantless Wiretap Defense Is Worse than Bush

Wildcat J Re:And Krugman says his bank bail out... (904 comments)

The economy was cruising on the downslope after the internet bubble burst in mid-2000. That happened on Clinton's watch.

Clinton was president in mid-2000?

Yes; he meant "mid-2000" as a specific year, not the middle of the '00s. The election took place in November of 2000; Clinton held office until the inauguration in January 2001.

more than 5 years ago
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Gov't Computers Used to Find Info on "Joe the Plumber"

Wildcat J Re:Not just a pay raise (793 comments)

Whether the additional income over the "magical threshold" comes from running a business or salary is entirely orthogonal to my point. Besides which, running a business falls under a separate class of tax laws than personal income.

about 6 years ago

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