Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Spurlock told not to talk about McDonalds??

McDonalds = Death
On [March 23] at Hatboro-Horsham High School in eastern Montgomery County, administrators say [Morgan Spurlock] put his foot in his mouth during an entertaining and humorous but profanity-laced, politically incorrect address to about 700 students.-Steve Wartenberg
( read the whole thing here...)

Tragic, but not really surprising, is it? Here's the part where they buried the lead:

According to Spurlock, shortly before his talk, he was told not to talk about McDonald's because a board member of the education association owns a franchise -a request akin to inviting Babe Ruth to speak and asking him not to talk about baseball.

photo of Spurlock by Catherine MeredithNo doubt, the reporter TRIED putting this fact higher in the story, but it was probably edited down for the sake of "community standards." Eye roll.

This group of educators had the 'foresight' to mention the above tidbit about McDonalds and yet were unaware of any background whatsoever on Spurlock AND his presention style?!

As Spurlock himself would probably say WTF?!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Marvin Minsky once wrote:

Experience has shown that science frequently develops most fruitfully once we learn to examine the things that seem the simplest, instead of those that seem the most mysterious."

Is Minsky right? Do we have much to learn from little things?

Sociologists & anthropologists have long touted the importance of patterns- of cultural mainstays, of myths and fables- claiming they are the groundwork of civilization. It's said the mind defines itself and surroundings through such a vocabulary. Joseph Campbell spent his life believing that. Religions are built upon that. Even Timothy Treadwell, the bear expert eventually mauled by his fur-covered messiah, lived a confusingly happy life (post drug abuse) by substituting grizzly bears whenever anybody talked about God (rent the Dvd!)

Interestingly, it is a similar method of pattern acquisition that now informs the robotics industry. But is there another way to successfully assimilate information?

Pattern acquisition has long been the BEST way to define the learner/information INTERSECT. How does a human, let alone a machine, process information without recognizing its validity to one's own operations?

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

"You can't put all your eggs in one basket," he explained...

Camden Shop Offers Coffee - And DNA Testing

[AP]
A few blocks from family court and state child welfare offices in this downtrodden city, a coffee shop is serving up more than lattes and muffins: DNA tests are also on the menu.

[...]

Small businesses in the city often embrace the diversification model. Camden City Wireless and Fishing Supply, for instance, sells cell phones and fishing tackle.

Likewise, Ford works several businesses at once. He runs Ronald Ford Inc., a 20-employee mini-conglomerate that offers business consulting, real estate and accounting services, and provides copying and fax services-in addition to the coffee and the DNA tests. Ford plans to add pre-employment drug testing and a photography studio to take pictures for aspiring actors in his two-story building across from City Hall.

[...]

Behind the coffee bar, Ford's employees swab the mouths of clients and the people they want to check for a possible DNA link. The samples are sent to a lab in Texas, and results come back within a week. His fee for the service starts at $550.