Daily Archives: October 26, 2011

(Michael Ellsberg) Will Dropouts Save America?

If start-up activity is the true engine of job creation in America, one thing is clear: our current educational system is acting as the brakes. Simply put, from kindergarten through undergraduate and grad school, you learn very few skills or attitudes that would ever help you start a business. Skills like sales, networking, creativity and comfort with failure.

No business in America ”” and therefore no job creation ”” happens without someone buying something. But most students learn nothing about sales in college; they are more likely to take a course on why sales (and capitalism) are evil.

Moreover, very few start-ups get off the ground without a wide, vibrant network of advisers and mentors, potential customers and clients, quality vendors and valuable talent to employ. You don’t learn how to network crouched over a desk studying for multiple-choice exams. You learn it outside the classroom, talking to fellow human beings face-to-face.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Education, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Young Adults

(NPR) Oregon School District Says No To Teacher Bonus Grant

After [Education Secretary Arne] Duncan’s visit there was some back and forth between the Obama administration and Oregon City on how the money should be spent. But ultimately, the Department of Education said it should be given to teachers as direct bonuses. It also said it wanted to restrict the funds to schools with lots of low-income students, which would have excluded half of Oregon City’s schools.

Oregon City wanted to put the money into a shared fund, possibly for teachers’ continuing education.

Nancy Noice, president of the Oregon City teachers union, said one solution the feds proposed was that employees hand their bonuses back to the district. But Noice says that didn’t seem workable.

Read or listen to it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, City Government, Economy, Education, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Politics in General, The U.S. Government

Toughest Exam Question: What Is the Best Way to Study?

Here’s a pop quiz: What foods are best to eat before a high-stakes test? When is the best time to review the toughest material? A growing body of research on the best study techniques offers some answers.

Chiefly, testing yourself repeatedly before an exam teaches the brain to retrieve and apply knowledge from memory. The method is more effective than re-reading a textbook, says Jeffrey Karpicke, an assistant professor of psychological sciences at Purdue University. If you are facing a test on the digestive system, he says, practice explaining how it works from start to finish, rather than studying a list of its parts….

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Education, Health & Medicine, Psychology, Teens / Youth, Young Adults

Anglican Church breaks silence on Christchurch Cathedral

…today the Diocese of Christchurch issued a statement saying it is considering all options for all of its churches, buildings and other facilities following the recent quakes.

“This is a challenging and complex process and extensive consultation is required with a range of stakeholders along with the need to commission expert analysis and technical reports,” said Bishop Victoria Matthew.

“With all sites, including the Christchurch Cathedral in the central city, safety is the first priority.

“A final decision won’t be made until all of the information and reports are received by the various church entities and the options and ramifications considered.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * General Interest, Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, Anglican Provinces, Natural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc., Parish Ministry

Thomas Friedman–The revolution now underway in Silicon Valley

I was on Wall Street two weeks ago, and I’ve been in Silicon Valley this past week. What a contrast! While Wall Street is being rattled by a social revolution, Silicon Valley is being by transformed by another technology revolution – one that is taking the world from connected to hyperconnected and individuals from empowered to superempowered. It is the biggest leap forward in the IT revolution since the mainframe computer was replaced by desktops and the Web. It is going to change everything about how companies and societies operate.

The latest phase in the IT revolution is being driven by the convergence of social media – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Groupon, Zynga – with the proliferation of cheap wireless connectivity and Web-enabled smartphones and “the cloud” – those enormous server farms that hold and constantly update thousands of software applications, which are then downloaded (as if from a cloud) by users on their smartphones, making them into incredibly powerful devices that can perform myriad tasks.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, --Social Networking, Blogging & the Internet, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Science & Technology

Lord Harries of Pentregarth on the Libyan Aftermath and the Cry for Justice

One of the extraordinary features of us human beings is how deep the desire for fairness goes. Parents often hear a cry from their children “It’s not fair”. Parents sometimes reply “Well life isn’t fair”. Indeed it is not. But the point is that we feel it ought to be, and that we ought to try to make it as fair as possible. If a child at school is being punished unfairly, others in the class will protest. If someone is getting away with a wrong, we feel they ought to be caught and admonished. Those childhood feelings are no different from the moral realm we inhabit as adults. However unjust life is, we sense an obligation to do what we can to make it more just, and that includes bringing home to criminals and tyrants the terrible consequences of their deeds….

The great cry running through the Hebrew scriptures is that this world is grossly unjust but that that God will reveal a true justice at the end-so when, when, will God act in that way to put right all that is wrong? Jews, Christians and Muslims have never lost that hope of an ultimate justice.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Defense, National Security, Military, Eschatology, Law & Legal Issues, Libya, Psychology, Theology

(Bloomberg) Europe Struggles for Crisis Cure Ahead of Summit

The 14th crisis summit in 21 months starts with a meeting of all 27 European Union leaders at 6 p.m. The real business gets under way at 7:15 p.m. when chiefs of the 10 non-euro nations depart, leaving the rest to hash out a strategy that they already say requires more work.

The cancellation of a finance ministers’ meeting to precede the summit underscored the holes in the plan. The finance chiefs will now meet at an as-yet undetermined time after the summit to complete its main elements, including safeguarding banks and writing down Greek debt, according to an EU official.

Global exasperation with Europe’s response is deepening, with politicians from Australia to North America prodding the euro area to get ahead of the crisis before it infects the world economy.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --European Sovereign Debt Crisis of 2010, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Credit Markets, Currency Markets, Economy, England / UK, Euro, Europe, European Central Bank, Foreign Relations, G20, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Politics in General, Portugal, Spain, The Banking System/Sector, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

(Post-Gazette) Property litigation involving Pittsburgh Episcopal Diocese is over

Eight years of property litigation involving the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh has ended, but most parishes that broke from the Episcopal Church still face negotiations over their buildings.

After the Pennsylvania Supreme Court last week denied an appeal from the Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh, which had argued that it owned the property, the Anglican decided diocese it will not appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, spokesman David Trautman said.

“This whole string of litigation is ended, is done,” he said.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, Stewardship, TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Pittsburgh

The Latest from Mount Calvary, Baltimore

On several occasions, I have suggested that the day when we would begin our new life as a Catholic congregation was in sight, only for there to be another delay. And no doubt many of you share my frustration in seeing other groups board the Barque of Peter ahead of us. But I can assure you that at this point, every indication suggests we do not have much longer to wait. As I announced from the pulpit recently, Mount Calvary is about to enter into mediation with the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland under the guidance of Judge Joseph Kaplan. This very positive development promises to result in a final property settlement in short order.

Another encouraging sign of progress is that those who attend the… [Episcopal] service in our All Souls Chapel at 9 o’clock Sunday mornings have been informed that this service will be coming to an end this month. They will need to find another church home should they wish to remain Episcopalians. Mount Calvary has permitted this service as a gesture of goodwill, but the Diocese of Maryland has determined that it can no longer be justified for the very small number of people who attend. This, I believe, is a tacit acknowledgement that in the near future, only the Catholic Mass will be celebrated at Mount Calvary”¦

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Other Churches, Roman Catholic, TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Departing Parishes

Naomi Schaefer Riley–A Review of Lost in Transition by Christian Smith, et al.

Despite their lack of understanding and interest in the world around them, these emerging adults, Smith and his collaborators insist, are not unintelligent. Rather, the authors argue, no one has taught them to ask questions about morality or to think about what is important in life. Smith and his coauthors blame, at least in part, “the tolerance-promoting, multiculturalist educational project” for some of these problems. In the effort to make the next generation more accepting of other people and other views, they have made the generation accepting of everyone and every view.

Six out of ten respondents, according to the authors, “said that morality is a personal choice, entirely a matter of individual decision.” To the extent that they can, the respondents “completely avoid making any strong moral claims themselves, as well as avoiding criticizing the moral views of others.”

When they do want to criticize something on a moral basis, emerging adults don’t even have the language at their disposal to do so.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Books, Philosophy, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Young Adults

(UMNS) Young job seekers find inspiration, help

Emily Hatcher, 26, is working overtime to find a job.

She keeps a strict schedule. On Monday, Wednesday and Friday she spends six to eight hours applying for jobs. The other days of the week, she sharpens her skills by taking computer classes online and networking.

The college graduate with a degree in early childhood education works as a babysitter and a substitute schoolteacher….

[She]…is [also] part of a job-networking group that meets at…[Roswell United Methodist Church] every other Monday.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Economy, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Parish Ministry, Young Adults

How a 2 Year Old Saved Her Mother

She had never before made a phone call in her life. Wow. Watch it all–KSH.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Children, Health & Medicine, Marriage & Family, Science & Technology

Frank Munger–Weaknesses on the rise in Dept. of Energy Cyber Security

Among the findings in this particular evaluation was that only 11 of the 35 cyber security weaknesses identified in a 2010 review had been fully corrected by the 2011 look-see.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Defense, National Security, Military, Economy, Energy, Natural Resources, Science & Technology, The U.S. Government

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Alfred the Great

O Sovereign Lord, who didst bring thy servant Alfred to a troubled throne that he might establish peace in a ravaged land and revive learning and the arts among the people: Awake in us also, we beseech thee, a keen desire to increase our understanding while we are in this world, and an eager longing to reach that endless life where all will be made clear; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Church History, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O Lord, who hast brought us through the darkness of night to the light of the morning, and who by thy Holy Spirit dost illumine the darkness of ignorance and sin: We beseech thee, of thy loving-kindness, to pour thy holy light into our souls; that we may ever be devoted to thee, by whose wisdom we were created, by whose mercy we were redeemed, and by whose providence we are governed; to the honour and glory of thy great name.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Bible Readings

Then Darius the king made a decree, and search was made in Babylonia, in the house of the archives where the documents were stored. And in Ecbat’ana, the capital which is in the province of Media, a scroll was found on which this was written: “A record. In the first year of Cyrus the king, Cyrus the king issued a decree: Concerning the house of God at Jerusalem, let the house be rebuilt, the place where sacrifices are offered and burnt offerings are brought; its height shall be sixty cubits and its breadth sixty cubits, with three courses of great stones and one course of timber; let the cost be paid from the royal treasury. And also let the gold and silver vessels of the house of God, which Nebuchadnez’zar took out of the temple that is in Jerusalem and brought to Babylon, be restored and brought back to the temple which is in Jerusalem, each to its place; you shall put them in the house of God.”

–Ezra 6:1-5

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Tunisia election: Partial results suggest Ennahda win

Partial official results from Tunisia suggest victory for the moderate Islamist party Ennahda, in the first democratic elections prompted by the Arab Spring uprisings.

The electoral commission said Ennahda was well ahead in the vote for a new assembly that will write a constitution and appoint a caretaker government.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Politics in General, Tunisia

(LA Times NationNow Blog) Proposed aid for Washington National Cathedral draws criticism

In another political aftershock from the summer’s rare East Coast earthquake, a bid by the mayor of Washington to secure federal aid for the damaged Washington National Cathedral is drawing criticism from those who say it runs counter to separation of church and state.

Mayor Vincent C. Gray is seeking $15 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for repairs to the cathedral, which was seriously damaged in the 5.8 temblor Aug. 23.

But Joseph L. Conn, director of communications for Americans United for Separation of Church and State, blogged on the organization’s website, “Asking the taxpayers to pick up the tab sets a very bad precedent and jeopardizes a critically important edifice that protects us all: the wall of separation between church and state.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Church/State Matters, City Government, Economy, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, TEC Parishes

Sarah Murray–Colorful Coffins and Funerals to Die For

Within hours of the death of Steve Jobs earlier this month, impromptu memorials began to appear at Apple stores around the world. Well-wishers brought candles, flowers and apples (with bites taken from them), and they covered windowpanes with handwritten Post-It notes. Inventive and colorful, such outpourings are this generation’s way of memorializing public figures like Princess Diana and Alexander McQueen.

But creativity in sending off the dead is nothing new. Human beings are seemingly hardwired to use public rituals to mark such moments. We bury our loved ones in the ground. We burn them in fire. In some cultures, we leave corpses as carrion, inviting the birds to pick the bones dry. In others, we hang the dead in trees or stow them in caves. In naval circles, we consign them to the ocean.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Death / Burial / Funerals, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

Cathy George Withdraws from New York Coadjutor Election

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops, TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils

(Christianity Today) Ken Walker–Missionary Money: Easier to Give, Worth Less than Ever

Financial turmoil in global markets continues to play havoc with the value of the U.S. dollar, but technology continues to make the transfer of donor dollars to missionaries quicker and easier.

American missionary income in China has dropped 25 percent in recent years because of the dollar’s decline against the Chinese yuan, said a missionary leader who requested anonymity. “In 24 years of missionary ministry, I have never seen things as tough as they are now.”

“It’s a complaint we hear almost every day,” says Bill Bray of Christian Aid Mission, which supports indigenous missionaries in 122 nations. “They need more money because of the exchange rate.”

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Credit Markets, Economy, Federal Reserve, Globalization, Missions, Parish Ministry, Stewardship, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, The U.S. Government, The United States Currency (Dollar etc)