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Magpie
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[*] posted on 9-3-2012 at 10:35


Quote: Originally posted by DougTheMapper  

My favorite part by far is Thomas Edison's Menlo Park laboratory; from my childhood I remember quite vividly looking at all the glass jars full of chemicals and shelves stocked with apparatus and vowing that one day I would have a lab like that.


That lab is on my bucket list. Last year I visited Edison's chemistry lab at West Orange, NJ. They have no roped off areas and you can get right up to the apparatus and reagents for a close inspection. Is that true at the relocated Menlo Park lab? Or is it roped off so you can't get up close?




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[*] posted on 9-3-2012 at 13:23


Quote: Originally posted by DougTheMapper  

It's a shame that these things are in steady decline - not only from the economy but simply lack of interest. Where I want to high school, more money and effort is pushed into the school football team than the Science Olympaid team and chemistry department combined! Sad.



you nailed it! nothing against sport (although..) but when it becomes a money making machine like it is now , its way over the top.

I just wish (as you said) more attention and money would be invested in getting kids interested in science, critical thinking and skepticism like we were..

[Edited on 9-3-2012 by neptunium]




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[*] posted on 9-3-2012 at 16:34


The only, ONLY thing i enjoyed about school before quitting/being expelled was the FIRST robotics competition. i learned more from that that any other single experience in my life. did it for 3 years, and will regret not becoming a real engineer/chemist the rest of my life. but i tell you what, FIRST also made me the best damn chef i could be. everything is engineering and chemistry.
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[*] posted on 10-3-2012 at 01:49


Presentation is everything.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/09/girl-drinks-gasolin...

[Edited on 10-3-2012 by Morgan]
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[*] posted on 10-3-2012 at 10:26


YES, television is stupid. I can't agree more. But it is our choice as consumers to choose what we watch and don't watch, what we consume and what we don't consume.

A lot of people are complaining about how the canyon between the rich and the poor is getting wider and wider, but I will take a bold step and argue that the gap that separates the smart from the dumb is also getting wider and wider.

There are a whole bunch of factors that affect the intelligence of members of a society, but schooling is definitely key. The role of the school system should be to give the tools to succeed to those who are motivated and interested.

The present school system is based on a "no child left behind" ideology, but this does not work in the least. Effort wasted on those who don't want to learn is seen as a asset rather than a setback while in reality it's quite the opposite.

Consequence: those who are motivated must take classes 2-3 years in advance! I think it's the schooling system that is going down the drain. Science is seen as a subject you have to take, get a good grade on (85+). I see science as a different way to look at the world and how it works.

Society is harsh, but quite frankly, the best way to educate people is to take the cream of the crop and leave everyone else behind. It's what they do in Europe and it works like a charm.

This all stems back to cherished American beliefs of equal opportunity, majority rule and democracy. The consequence is that the media is now geared to the masses, not the knowledgeable people.




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neptunium
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[*] posted on 10-3-2012 at 13:07


dont forget parenting ! it is a key as much as schooling and education.
if you let your kids watch dumb shit on TV all day after a good day of learning at school ,you cancelling out everything they might have learned!




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[*] posted on 10-3-2012 at 14:13


Ahh,

How could I forget! Parenting indeed affects child development as much, if not more than schooling, for better or worse. Neighbourhood and wealth also affect people's tendencies.

I'm a high school student, and I can't help but to think about all the people who fall into addiction and other bad habits. I didn't realise until recently that I go to school with relatively privileged people, whose parents are pretty well off.

And yet I go to school with people who whine about the ills of society and how everything they teach at school is wrong, and that you can be successful without going to school. They don't realise that by whining, they are not improving the situation and that they're making it worse. They also don't realise that they've got everything they need, they have a roof over their heads, they have food to eat they have money (which they spend foolishly), they have computers, iPods, iPads etc...

Wanting an escape from it all, they take on marijuana and other drugs that can destroy a brilliant mind beyond repair. A friend of mine was a top student sophomore year and the year after, he dropped from being one of the best to one of the worst as he took up marijuana and who knows what else.

This shows that you don't necessarily need to live in a cut-throat neighbourhood to be pulled towards drugs and crime. In some ways, there are some very intelligent people who come from disadvantaged neighbourhoods, they seek personal betterment through hard work and education.

Maybe the wealth of the previous generation is simply spoiling this one. They've got every comfort they could ever want, and they want more, but they want it handed to them on a silver platter. They cannot work even if their lives depended on it, which sooner or later will be the case.

The media is oriented towards those people, they generate the demand for stupidity, TV simply fills the vacuum.




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Morgan
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[*] posted on 10-3-2012 at 14:32


"The most important lesson"
http://i.imgur.com/uWfrU.jpg
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[*] posted on 10-3-2012 at 16:39


im pretty sure that show is fake....

but regardless, i read alot about Hg a week ago and came across a huge school HG contam that was caused by kids not knowing what Hg was... i mean hell, i knew when i was like 6. who DOESN'T get excited by liquid metal? jesus...
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[*] posted on 10-3-2012 at 16:46


Quote: Originally posted by White Yeti  

Maybe the wealth of the previous generation is simply spoiling this one. They've got every comfort they could ever want, and they want more, but they want it handed to them on a silver platter. They cannot work even if their lives depended on it, which sooner or later will be the case.


Perhaps these people should be required to spend a month in the slums of Calcutta, or The Gulag Archipelago, every summer.




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White Yeti
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[*] posted on 10-3-2012 at 17:22


Quote: Originally posted by Magpie  

Perhaps these people should be required to spend a month in the slums of Calcutta, or The Gulag Archipelago, every summer.


It wouldn't be a bad idea. Some people have lost touch with reality and then they are surprised when bad things happen in the world. They are devastated when celebrity_______(fill in the blank) gets a divorce, but an earthquake in an underdeveloped country doesn't strike a chord at all. People are not only becoming increasingly arrogant, but indifferent to everything that doesn't affect them directly. Our shallow mass media has a part to play. The media has filled our desire for flashes of information with no deeper meaning or any lasting significance.

I wonder if our attraction for instant and brief information has any evolutionary ties.

Interesting off topic side note:
I recently found out why most of us hate silence. Our disdain for complete silence traces back to our cavemen ancestors, who saw complete silence as an ominous sign of danger. Some even think this is why we have an "inner voice", when everything really was completely silent, your inner voice would fill the void and help you stay sane.

This may also explain why some people leave the TV on constantly, regardless of what program is on:D

[edit]
Found it! Wikipedia entry on how your inner voice keeps you sane in times of silence:
Evolved to avoid silence
Joseph Jordania suggested that talking to yourself can be used to avoid silence. According to him, our ancestors, like many other social animals, used contact calls to maintain constant contact with the members of the group,[5] and a signal of danger was communicated through becoming silent and freezing.[6] Because of our evolutionary history, prolonged silence is perceived as a sign of danger and triggers a feeling of uneasiness and fear. According to Jordania, talking to yourself is only one of the ways to fill in prolonged gaps of silence in humans. Other ways of filling in prolonged silence are humming, whistling, finger drumming, or having TV, radio or music on all the time.

[Edited on 3-11-2012 by White Yeti]




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[*] posted on 10-3-2012 at 18:42


Quote: Originally posted by Morgan  
Presentation is everything.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/09/girl-drinks-gasolin...

[Edited on 10-3-2012 by Morgan]


Holy fuck, that's like one of the weirdest things I saw in the last year.
And I don't mean the gasoline girl, but the girl with the creepy doll head. "Smells like marshmallows, mmmmm oh, yeah" :D:D:D

The gasoline girl could be fake. If it isn't fake, she'll end up with cancer soon. Gasoline has relatively lots of benzene inside.
I've seen weird shit like this, so a dumbass drinking gasoline doesn't surprise me much.

But the creepy doll head girl... Damn. I hope that doesn't give me nightmares. :D




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[*] posted on 10-3-2012 at 18:42


I think now you guys are just glorifying the past..... Selective remembrance is a hell of a thing... People have always been stupid, apathetic, and shallow. similar to how people at renaissance festivals glorify one of the more putrid era's of our past.

"Maybe the wealth of the previous generation is simply spoiling this one."
i agree with this^

" They've got every comfort they could ever want, and they want more, but they want it handed to them on a silver platter. They cannot work even if their lives depended on it, which sooner or later will be the case."

But i am young and this does not apply to me. nor a good deal of the 'dumb' ppl i know. however i do agree with magpie's reply.

all generations are guilty. technology has just sped it up.


EDIT: gasoline girl(lmfao) is prolly the MOST believable thing ive seen on that show out of the 4-6 segments ive seen.

[Edited on 11-3-2012 by tastyphenome]
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[*] posted on 10-3-2012 at 20:08


Just a few other contrived shows ... (yawn)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3UpSlpvb1is

"Did you catch that? The house hunters aren’t actually house hunting in some of the episodes because they already bought one. The producers show them two other houses and they pretend to consider them. Then they pretend to deliberate, and pretend to choose the house that they already chose from the beginning."
http://hookedonhouses.net/2010/06/02/the-truth-about-house-h...

http://warmingglow.uproxx.com/2010/12/surprise-cash-cab-is-f...

http://www.infobarrel.com/Reasons_Why_Pawn_Stars_Is_Fake_And...

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neptunium
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[*] posted on 11-3-2012 at 17:44


its always staged !!!! it always is!! are you just now realizing it? where have you been?
not much on TV is genuine anymore..and i refuse to pay for nonsenses and stupidity

[Edited on 12-3-2012 by neptunium]




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[*] posted on 12-3-2012 at 15:44


Mencken was sooo right!



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[*] posted on 12-3-2012 at 15:48


I mean, why toss gems their way when you know the swine can't differentiate between them and stinking turds?



"I do not know how the Third World War will be fought, but I can tell you what they will use in the Fourth ─── rocks!" . . . A Einstein.
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[*] posted on 12-3-2012 at 16:20


Quote: Originally posted by White Yeti  
Parenting indeed affects child development as much, if not more than schooling, for better or worse. Neighbourhood and wealth also affect people's tendencies. I can't help but to think about all the people who fall into addiction and other bad habits. I didn't realise until recently that I go to school with relatively privileged people, whose parents are pretty well off.


While there certainly is a correlation between the circumstances of ones childhood and the outcome of their future life, this correlation is not necessarily a direct cause and effect relationship. I tend to think the this correlation may have more to do with genetics. Parents with a predisposition to be more responsible and have a higher level of intelligence (and ability to concentrate in school) are more likely to live in the higher income neighborhoods. And so the children who live in higher income neighborhoods are more likely to do better in school and not develop detrimental habits.


Quote: Originally posted by neptunium  
its always staged !!!! it always is!! are you just now realizing it? not much on TV is genuine anymore..and i refuse to pay for nonsenses and stupidity


This is why I got rid of my televission. It seems nearly every story shown on the news was craftily chosen to subtly alter the social and political opinions of the viewers.

And the fictional dramas are just packed full of attempts to alter perceptions. This is completely inconspicuous until one understands exactly what they are trying to do. What one sees on televission, even in the news, is not a realistic depiction of reality. There are all sorts of poverty and crime related problems that are purposefully not depicted, or avoided, on televission. And some of the most important issues, immigration and government spending, recieve very little serious attention. Most people would likely not believe to what extent the middle class is taxed to subsidise large business interests. Here is just one example:
Quote:

The federal government continued its effort to boost agricultural commodity prices today by announcing it will purchase an additional $25 million worth of pork. The U.S. Department of Agriculture also said it will buy $60 million of turkey, and $2 million of lamb. Last week, the USDA bought approximately 200 million pounds of nonfat dry milk to help the dairy industry.

Pork farmers have been losing an average of $20 on each hog marketed since October 2007, according to the U.S. Pork Producers. And economists have said dairy producers are losing an average of $3 per cow per day.

The U.S government indirectly subsidizes the meat industry. The cost of a common hamburger would be $35 and the cost of one pound of beefsteak would be $89 if water was not subsidized by taxpayers.

federal and state governments subsidize the meat industry's water consumption at every stage of the process. Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) consume particularly egregious quantities of water.

Cornell economists, David Fields and his associate Robin Hur, have studied the fiscal consequences of water subsidies to the meat industry: “Reports by the General Accounting Office, the Rand Corporation, and the Water Resources Council have made it clear that irrigation water subsidies to livestock producers are economically counter productive. Every dollar that state governments dole out to livestock producers, in the form of irrigation subsidies, actually costs tax payers over seven dollars in lost wages, higher living costs, and reduced business income."

Economists Fields and Hur calculate the overall price of subsidizing the California meat industry’s water to be 24 billion dollars.

http://www.lawschoolblog.org/blog/2011/oct/11/subsidizing-ob...

[Edited on 13-3-2012 by AndersHoveland]
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[*] posted on 12-3-2012 at 16:24


Do you think maybe you are predisposed to blaming genetic over environmental influence do to your, um, beliefs Anders? What about children that are orphaned and put in an abusive, or otherwise hostile environment? Despite there genetic predispositions, I feel that their environment is a HUGE factor. Look at all the cases of people being abused as children (not by parents, to avoid genetic issues) who grow up to perpetrate upon others the very abuses that they had to endure?



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neptunium
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[*] posted on 12-3-2012 at 16:26


the old nature vs nurture conendrum..its a little bit of both i think.



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[*] posted on 12-3-2012 at 16:29


As do I. I would never dispute genetic inheritance, but we also can not refute learned behavior and environmental impact.



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[*] posted on 12-3-2012 at 16:37


Quote: Originally posted by AndersHoveland  
While there certainly is a correlation between the circumstances of ones childhood and the outcome of their future life, this correlation is not necessarily a direct cause and effect relationship. I tend to think the this correlation may have more to do with genetics. Parents with a predisposition to be more responsible and have a higher level of intelligence (and ability to concentrate in school) are more likely to live in the higher income neighborhoods. And so the children who live in higher income neighborhoods are more likely to do better in school and not develop detrimental habits.


Anders, most of the time I hold you up to high standards, but bluntly stating that genetics influence intelligence is a huge misunderstanding.

Having experienced this indirectly, I know that intelligence and self fulfilment stems from two things, a stable childhood sheltered from the ills of society, (but NOT from failure) and secondly, inner motivation and drive for success.

All too often I see people with very high IQ wasting their potential, not because they were abused as children, but because they do not have innate motivation.

Nature vs. nurture debate....
I have no intention to start a whole discussion (although I might have just now) on whether genetics play a major role on the intelligence of children.

What I know for sure is that we know too little to truly state where intelligence comes from and even what it really is. However, I think intelligence leans more on the nurture side of things because many mental illnesses stem from abnormal conditions surrounding children at a young age. We are trying to find a genetic basis for everything, even autism.

If you look at intelligence, one might say it's an emergent property of the human brain, to which there is very little genetic basis. Neural pruning, which occurs during childhood is influenced by EVERYTHING including the media and of course TV....




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[*] posted on 12-3-2012 at 17:13


I believe it is a complex interaction between genetics and environmental conditioning.
A parallel to this is trying to understand the causes of homosexuality.
Quote:

In a 1991 study of gay twins, Bailey and Pillard found that when one identical twin had a same-gender attraction, the other twin had a 52% probability of also having same-gender attraction.

As identical twins essentially have an identical genetic composition, it can be seen that the causes of homosexuality are about half genetics and half environmental influence. It may likely be that, as with many other diseases, certain individuals are genetically predisposed to vulnerability towards certain negetive environmental conditions.

Perhaps Roscoe Bodine will have a few comments to say on this topic...

[Edited on 13-3-2012 by AndersHoveland]
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[*] posted on 12-3-2012 at 17:51


Quote:

The U.S government indirectly subsidizes the meat industry. The cost of a common hamburger would be $35 and the cost of one pound of beefsteak would be $89 if water was not subsidized by taxpayers.


The authors of the $35 per hamburger estimate are either innumerate or disingenuous.

Americans consume about 40 billion hamburgers and 3.9 billion pounds of beef steak per year. At $32 per hamburger and $80 per pound of steak in subsidy that's 1.5 trillion dollars a year. By this reckoning beef subsidies must be the single largest expenditure in the US federal budget, more than the Department of Defense and Social Security combined.

Now the government does fund public works projects to provide water and arbitrates in disputes over water rights. Suppose there were no government to enforce law or solve collective action problems. In a lawless land where every water dispute is settled with violence, maybe a hamburger does cost $35, mostly from amortizing the mercenaries' bill over the surviving head of cattle. But this is a vacuous and disingenuous reason to call beef subsidized: every product would be ridiculously expensive in the absence of stable government. Imagine trying to operate a business in Somalia.




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[*] posted on 12-3-2012 at 18:09


Quote: Originally posted by Polverone  
The authors of the $35 per hamburger estimate are either innumerate or disingenuous.
You forgot "... or stupid". There's always stupidity. Even amongst the numerate.
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