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Talk about whatever, version 1.0. 
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Post Re: Talk about whatever, version 1.0.
Mark III wrote:
If you haven't checked out Coursera yet, do so. It's free and intensive and maybe you'll learn something.

https://www.coursera.org/#category/music

The first class listed, "The Language of Hollywood: Storytelling, Sound, and Color", is free through Wesleyan. Take a look.


I've never heard of this before, but I'm very intrigued.


Fri Sep 21, 2012 2:44 am
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Post Re: Talk about whatever, version 1.0.
Blonde Almond wrote:
Mark III wrote:
If you haven't checked out Coursera yet, do so. It's free and intensive and maybe you'll learn something.

https://www.coursera.org/#category/music

The first class listed, "The Language of Hollywood: Storytelling, Sound, and Color", is free through Wesleyan. Take a look.


I've never heard of this before, but I'm very intrigued.


BUMPed due to my just having watched a commercial for a godforsaken for-profit university. These... things... they must be stopped.

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Mon Sep 24, 2012 3:29 am
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Post Re: Talk about whatever, version 1.0.
Mark III wrote:

BUMPed due to my just having watched a commercial for a godforsaken for-profit university. These... things... they must be stopped.


I've read a lot about for-profit schools, and it's pretty obscene.

I'll put it simply: I attend an Ivy League university, and I won't deny that a lot of money goes through my school. But our president doesn't make one-tenth of the salary that some the presidents of these for-profit places do. And when you compare the institutions...well, there isn't much of a comparison.

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Mon Sep 24, 2012 12:47 pm
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Post Re: Talk about whatever, version 1.0.
I've been listening to almost nothing but Allan Holdsworth lately and now everything I play sounds like shitty Allan Holdsworth.

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Grandma's doing fine. Her surgery ended up being a little more aggressive than we thought, but she's recovering well and hopefully forcing my grandpa to take care of her. I'll probably try to get up north to visit soon.

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And now I'm about to dig into a microwaved vegetarian lasagna. If I stop posting here, you know what killed me.


Tue Sep 25, 2012 2:11 am
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Post Re: Talk about whatever, version 1.0.
Sexual Chocolate wrote:
Mark III wrote:

BUMPed due to my just having watched a commercial for a godforsaken for-profit university. These... things... they must be stopped.


I've read a lot about for-profit schools, and it's pretty obscene.

I'll put it simply: I attend an Ivy League university, and I won't deny that a lot of money goes through my school. But our president doesn't make one-tenth of the salary that some the presidents of these for-profit places do. And when you compare the institutions...well, there isn't much of a comparison.


Way back in the day, when I was applying to colleges (for when I started applying to programs for my advanced degree I knew that my ego and reality had only partial superimposibility) the only Ivy I applied to (Cornell) sent me an envelope so impressively thin that I had to travel to a two-dimensional world in order to read their excited rejection. I believe they may have used the word "fucking" in promising me that I wouldn't be attending their undergraduate program. It was quite a time to be alive, it was!

I don't believe liberal arts colleges are perfect but do believe that the for-profit model is in opposition to what higher education should be.

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Tue Sep 25, 2012 4:01 am
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Post Re: Talk about whatever, version 1.0.
Here, middle-class rightwing blowhards tell us they will increase standards through competition, but reality, with its inconvenient habit of fucking theory and wishful thinking up, shows us they lead to Universities simply selling degrees to rich kids for more than poor kids can afford to pay.

I don't know what the situation is in the US, but here what you study and what grade you get doesn't compare to where you got it. A third class degree in paper folding from Oxford will see you in a more comfortable life than a first class degree in Physics from a community college.

In my neck of the woods, one of the very worst schools in the country is less than 10 miles from one of the very best. HG Wells was right I tell ya!

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Tue Sep 25, 2012 4:18 am
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Post Re: Talk about whatever, version 1.0.
NotHughGrant wrote:
Here, middle-class rightwing blowhards tell us they will increase standards through competition, but reality, with its inconvenient habit of fucking theory and wishful thinking up, shows us they lead to Universities simply selling degrees to rich kids for more than poor kids can afford to pay.

I don't know what the situation is in the US, but here what you study and what grade you get doesn't compare to where you got it. A third class degree in paper folding from Oxford will see you in a more comfortable life than a first class degree in Physics from a community college.


The situation in the US isn't any different. My grades and testing in high school were good enough that I got into the school I was gunning for and, in turn, managed to set the stage for further education. I remember talking to many, dozens, of people who had similar ambitions to me that were (a) more qualified than myself to advance in my field, (b) had similar if not superior GPAs in their college majors and (c) were all around brighter. I was very fortunate to get the education I got and not everything was based in my performance. Not everything. Maybe more than I'm letting on. But not everything.

Define "meritoracy".

That said, I do believe that there are more opportunities out there than what Point X in time would have some believe. Meaning, with enough ambition and clear thinking, options are more than the stamp on your diploma. Easy for me to say. I've met a lot of people that had exceptional grades and exceptional test scores that are going to an exceptional school but have trouble negotiating staircases. They'll probably have the privelage of hiring/firing some of their old high school friends but the pool of great candidates seems to be getting bigger all the time -- something in the high school advanced-placement water.

I know a couple of people who did well on the AP for psychology. I was amazed! Not that they did well, but that people could take an AP for psychology! I didn't exacty graduate in the stone age (late 90s) but all we had to pick from was chemistry, phsyics, biology and English.

Pretty soon I'm going to be like Abe Simpson, saying things like "There are too many states these days!"

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Tue Sep 25, 2012 4:41 am
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Post Re: Talk about whatever, version 1.0.
Mark III

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The situation in the US isn't any different. My grades and testing in high school were good enough that I got into the school I was gunning for and, in turn, managed to set the stage for further education. I remember talking to many, dozens, of people who had similar ambitions to me that were (a) more qualified than myself to advance in my field, (b) had similar if not superior GPAs in their college majors and (c) were all around brighter. I was very fortunate to get the education I got and not everything was based in my performance. Not everything. Maybe more than I'm letting on. But not everything.

Define "meritoracy".


A true meritocracy could probably never be agreed on, and let's face it, would rock the boat a bit too strongly. I could see the guy trying to impliment that winding up dying in a freak "accident" somewhere. Too many vested interests against it. It would be like trying to take on the Mafia. I can see Paulie Walnuts now, hijacking trucks carrying examination scripts and textbooks on the law of contracts.

But in England success if largely determined by how valuable your parents' house is. It could probably do with a bit of a swing back towards sanity.

Quote:
That said, I do believe that there are more opportunities out there than what Point X in time would have some believe. Meaning, with enough ambition and clear thinking, options are more than the stamp on your diploma.


Yeah I don't disagree with that. It would be obscene for me to complain too much when my Grandma was shipped out of school at 15 and sent to work in a factory until her 60th birthday.

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Tue Sep 25, 2012 5:23 am
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Post Re: Talk about whatever, version 1.0.
Everybody please take some time away from debating which presidential candidate sucks less to consider the following: it appears that the Voyager 1 spacecraft has exited the solar system.

For those who don't know, Voyager 1 is an unmanned probe that has been spaceborne for over 35 years. It has traveled further away from its home planet than any other piece of man-made technology in history. In the hundreds of thousands of years that human beings have existed, nothing we've ever created has passed beyond the outermost limit of the sun's dominion.

But if this report turns out to be right, then we can now consider ourselves to be a species of interstellar explorers. Think on that.


Sat Oct 06, 2012 5:06 am
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Post Re: Talk about whatever, version 1.0.
I was really into the whole cosmos thing as a child and I've had a revieval of late. When I was 5 years old in 1987, I got an encyclopedia for Christmas that documented 10 years since the craft was launched. I remember reading the projections of where the craft will be in 15, 25, 50, etc years. The seemingly modest projections conveyed very well the vast scales we were dealing with here.

In a way I fell like I've grown up with that craft. It's mind-bending that we can still receive signals from it today.

Kudos to all concerned!

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Tue Oct 09, 2012 5:37 am
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Post Re: Talk about whatever, version 1.0.
Crappy day.

Got home from work last night and found out the water heater wasn't working. Go up in the attic (where it is) to check the pilot light and see water dripping from the bottom of the tank and onto the pilot jet. Oh well - got about 17 years out of that baby, definitely my money's worth. Call around but find I barely have enough in savings to buy just the water heater, not enough to adequately pay someone's labor.

Forward to today. Requested vacation day. Closed the inlet valve to drain the tank. Drains for two hours, water still coming out. Inlet valve is also 17 years old, cheap CPVC ball valve, so probably not working either. Turn the house water off and drain the tank. Cut tank loose. No one here to help, so I wrestle the 80 pound beast down the steps (flimsy fold down ladder) and out to the curve. Go to Lowe's and buy a new water heater. Strain every muscle I've got pushing the boxed water heater up the fold down ladder through the hole in the ceiling. Cut the box off and find half the top of the water heater heavily smashed in. Since there was no apparent damage to the box, I believe it almost certainly was boxed up that way. Call Lowe's up and ask them to bring a replacement since I've busted my rear getting the last one up there only to find out its junk. Lady says they won't do that, but she'll give 10% off if I decide to hook it up and live with the damage. I won't do it - the damage looks bad enough to have affected the integrity of the unit and I don't want to gamble 10% of a water heater vs. risk of water cascading through my ceiling. Wrestle the damaged water heater back down the ladder, load it up, take it back and get my money. Go around the corner to Home Depot, price their water heaters, and buy a couple of CPVC caps and solvent to cap my lines off so I can turn the house water back on. Cap off open lines and take a very cold shower.

Tomorrow, another vacation day down the drain (pun intended) as I try another water heater. Oh well, the job is half done and I'll go to bed knowing full well that a lot of people in this world had a much worse day than I. I've lost a couple of vacation days and Lowes has lost a frequent customer.


Tue Oct 09, 2012 9:07 pm
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Post Re: Talk about whatever, version 1.0.
@Casual Dad

I love a good story about bad customer service. Having never really worked retail, I can only imagine what a stopover in purgatory those jobs must be. You call up there to Lowe's, want some aid, and those guys have no choice but to give you the company policy "no". Did you keep your receipt? Did you want a gift receipt?

Anyone have any good stories about working retail? Whenever I get something at Barnes & Noble, they always ask for my email address after they interview me back-and-forth about gift cards, gift receipts, my blood type, the color of my firstborn's soul (only applicable at the B&N in Hell), if I'm a member, if I've heard about Nook... I always answer the questions and always feel bad for those guys. I know it has to suck to rattle of those questions 150 times a shift.

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Wed Oct 10, 2012 1:11 am
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Post Re: Talk about whatever, version 1.0.
I agree with you Mark that working a customer facing job in retail has got to be a frustrating experience. I'm already an introvert and doubt much that I could control myself if I were faced with all that they go through. I know that they didn't make or package the product and have no control over that process, but even a distributor should feel significant, if not complete, responsibility for the products they are selling no matter what. I'm also pretty sure that HD would give me the same treatment as the other store under similar circumstances, but I wasn't in any mood to play any more games with the product or store in question.

Got the new water heater home this morning. Unboxed it in the living room this time and all looked good. Checked the various water and gas connections to see what was needed and went back and got them. Stopped on the way home for a relaxing lunch with the wife. Rigged up a ratcheting pulley in the attic and had the wife crank the water heater up the ladder while I supported it from below and guided it. Got everything plumbed in place and the gas connected. Filled it up with water, fired up the gas, and now waiting for the heat to come up and enjoy a hot shower. No explosions or noticeable leaks so far.


Wed Oct 10, 2012 6:50 pm
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Post Re: Talk about whatever, version 1.0.
I made a lesson for the 7th graders today that I thought was cool. They had to pretend to be CIA agents. Unfortunately, out of 22 kids, not one knew what the CIA was.

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Wed Oct 10, 2012 9:37 pm
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Post Re: Talk about whatever, version 1.0.
JamesKunz wrote:
I made a lesson for the 7th graders today that I thought was cool. They had to pretend to be CIA agents. Unfortunately, out of 22 kids, not one knew what the CIA was.

Don't they watch movies?

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Wed Oct 10, 2012 10:08 pm
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Post Re: Talk about whatever, version 1.0.
Ken wrote:
JamesKunz wrote:
I made a lesson for the 7th graders today that I thought was cool. They had to pretend to be CIA agents. Unfortunately, out of 22 kids, not one knew what the CIA was.

Don't they watch movies?

If they did, they'd be more likely to know what MI6 is rather than the CIA.

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Wed Oct 10, 2012 10:34 pm
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Post Re: Talk about whatever, version 1.0.
Ken wrote:
JamesKunz wrote:
I made a lesson for the 7th graders today that I thought was cool. They had to pretend to be CIA agents. Unfortunately, out of 22 kids, not one knew what the CIA was.

Don't they watch movies?

When I was in 7th grade I had no idea what the CIA was, I never even heard the term until I saw a trailer for Agent Cody Banks, then I looked up CIA on the internet out of curiosity.


Thu Oct 11, 2012 12:43 am
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Post Re: Talk about whatever, version 1.0.
JamesKunz wrote:
I made a lesson for the 7th graders today that I thought was cool. They had to pretend to be CIA agents. Unfortunately, out of 22 kids, not one knew what the CIA was.


7th grade means 12 years old in the UK. Is it the same in the US?

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Thu Oct 11, 2012 4:11 am
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Post Re: Talk about whatever, version 1.0.
NotHughGrant wrote:
JamesKunz wrote:
I made a lesson for the 7th graders today that I thought was cool. They had to pretend to be CIA agents. Unfortunately, out of 22 kids, not one knew what the CIA was.


7th grade means 12 years old in the UK. Is it the same in the US?

Yeah it's pretty much the same over here.


Thu Oct 11, 2012 12:06 pm
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Post Re: Talk about whatever, version 1.0.
JamesKunz wrote:
I made a lesson for the 7th graders today that I thought was cool. They had to pretend to be CIA agents. Unfortunately, out of 22 kids, not one knew what the CIA was.


22 kids? That's fucking awesome. My smallest of six classes has 36 students.

I've been really hating the gig lately. Hate.

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Thu Oct 11, 2012 4:33 pm
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