Researchers at The Johns Hopkins University have discovered a way to make time stand still — at least when it comes to the yearly calendar.
Using computer programs and mathematical formulas, Richard Conn Henry, an astrophysicist in the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, and Steve H. Hanke, an applied economist in the Whiting School of Engineering, have created a new calendar in which each new 12-month period is identical to the one which came before, and remains that way from one year to the next in perpetuity.
Under the Hanke-Henry Permanent Calendar, for instance, if Christmas fell on a Sunday in 2012 (and it would), it will also fall on a Sunday in 2013, 2014 and beyond. In addition, under the new calendar, the rhyme “30 days hath September, April, June and November,” would no longer apply, because September would have 31 days, as would June, March and December. All the rest have 30 (Try creating a rhyme using that.)
[group seated in Leonard and Sheldon's apartment, with Penny sitting in Sheldon's seat]
*Audience is bracing themselves*
[Sheldon comes out to greet them.]
*Audience draws in huge breaths, preparing to expel the gas in a violent release of pure ecstasy*
Sheldon:Excuse me Penny, you are sitting in my spot.
*Audience erupts into fits of laughter previously unknown to mankind. The oxygen levels within the studio become exhausted from the monumental bouts of laughter and the audience, still laughing, clammer out into the streets and begin rioting. Rioting is spread across L.A until the episode is aired, four days later martial law is declared within the United States.*
Compared to modern school kids, I was a downright worthless student.
I don’t mean worthless as a pejorative. (My father would have used a more colorful term to characterize my scholarly pursuits.) But worthless as a commodity. Us kids at Montrose Elementary School weren’t making anyone rich. Not like today’s pupils, particularly those in Florida, who’ve become valuable cogs in a burgeoning industry.
Such precious little dummies, these wayward students. Their benighted ways in the classroom have given rise to a recession-proof enterprise. To a no-lose sort of capitalism. Educational entrepreneurs (some backed by Wall Street hedge funds who know a sure thing when they see it) have figured out how to make millions without the usual risks of the marketplace, drilling for profits in the ever lucrative field of school reform.
No Child Left Behind, President Bush’s 2001 education reform package, since embraced by President Obama, may have forced needed attention onto failing schools, but the law also created an extraordinary new industry funded exclusively with public money.
The NCLB mandate for standardized tests requires the nation’s public schools to administer some 50 million tests annually, costing some $700 million a year, most of that money going to corporations that create and publish the tests, score the results and provide “interpretive, descriptive, and diagnostic reports.” Since I was a school boy, testing costs have risen by 3,000 percent. And so too has the opportunity to make a buck. [++]
“Biology is the best chemist out there,” said Harvard scientist Pamela Silver. The U.S. Department of Energy funds Silver’s research exploring the use of deep-ocean extremophiles to create new biofuels. She described the bacteria she works with as being “like little batteries” that “move electrons around.” Silver’s goal is to genetically program these ocean bacteria to recover carbon from air or water and process it into fuel.
“What is required is that we realize that it IS possible to live differently and that what we’ve believed to be creating new opportunities and ways of living was in fact recreation of the same inequality in new and more sophisticated ways that offered nothing more than the same way of living in working to survive. The Whole World is here and here is the Whole World. Borders are not meant to be permanent or to surpass our self-direction, because Life does not have borders and thus the borders that are here, may exist for a moment and be gone the next.”—One World in 60 Seconds - The Socjournal (via sociolab)
“We must learn to reawaken and keep ourselves awake, not by mechanical aids, but by an infinite expectation of the dawn, which does not forsake us even in our soundest sleep. I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by a conscious endeavour. It is something to be able to paint a particular picture, or to carve a statue, and so to make a few objects beautiful; but it is far more glorious to carve
and paint the very atmosphere and medium through which we look, which morally we can do. To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts.”—Henry David Thoreau (via therainyresistance)
“The U.S. Government doesn’t drop bombs on people because of their race. Washington’s geopolitical agendas lead to military actions. But racial biases make the war process easier when the people being killed and maimed aren’t white people. An oversize elephant in the room is a reality that few journalists talk about in public: the USA keeps waging war on countries where the victims resemble people who often experience personal and institutional racism in the United States.”—Norman Solomon, This War and Racism (via darkjez)
“The West won the world not by the superiority of its ideas or values or religion but rather by its superiority in applying organized violence. Westerners often forget this fact, non-Westerners never do.”—Samuel P. Huntington, cited on the ‘Where is Raed’ website, a day-to-day journal of everyday life in Baghdad under bombardment. (via delucazade)
“Conservation is getting nowhere because it is incompatible with our Abrahamic concept of land. We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.”— Aldo Leopold (via bardsandsages)
“Some people have noticed that “student loan debt” comes up a lot among the Wall Street Occupiers and the members of the 99 percent movement. Often, older people, who either attended school when tuition was reasonable, or who didn’t attend college at all in an era when a high school diploma was enough of a qualification for a stable, middle-class career, tend to think this is all the entitled whining of spoiled kids. They don’t understand that these kids accepted a home mortgage worth of debt before they ever even had a regular income, based on phony promises, and that the debt is inescapable, regardless of life circumstances or ability to pay.”—The $1 Trillion Student Loan Rip-Off: How an Entire Generation Was Tricked into Taking on Crushing Debt That Just Enriches Banks | | AlterNet (via sociolab)
“Sociology as a discipline investigates the conditions that lead to inequality and social injustice. To the degree that you believe these are “left-wing” issues, then you will find the entire discipline, along with its introductory textbooks, to be “left-wing propaganda.”—
In reply to, “Sociology is just a bunch of left-wing dogma!” (via socmajor)
Of course sociologists are always going to be called liberal left-wing nuts. YOU try spending 4+ years studying and researching poverty and unequal social and economic conditions and try to stay a conservative. If you possess any humanity at all, it’s impossible.
I think the reason why sociology is seen as political is due to the fact that the theories and research generally conflict with the dominant ideology. They say “everyone can succeed if they work hard enough” and sociology says “not really and here is the evidence”. I’m currently doing research on the social psychological processes that justify inequality and it’s super interesting stuff. Sociology is manipulated in such a way and written off as “left-wing propaganda” so as to discredit the discipline. Just another reason why nobody listens to the sociologists.