Another reason to hate the Spelling Bee

I have written before that I am not a fan of the national Spelling Bee contest. One reason is that the format is inherently unfair and needlessly nerve-wracking to the children taking part. The second is that it results in students pending enormous amounts of time memorizing the spelling of esoteric words that they are unlikely to ever even encounter again, let alone use them.
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Oh great, another Left Behind film

It appears that there is a new version of the film based on the Left Behind books to be released on October 3. For those not familiar with this series of best sellers, they are based on the Rapture that supposedly will occur at the ‘end times’ as foretold in the Book of Revelation, when the true Christians will suddenly be all taken up to heaven before Jesus returns to destroy the evildoers (i.e., those left behind) in years of bloody warfare. Or something like that, it’s all a bit confusing. But one thing that is sure is that there will be blood. Oh yes, lots of blood. The books revel in it.
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The conjunction fallacy

Rob Brooks asks you to take a pop quiz:

When Jack was young, he began inflicting harm on animals. It started with just pulling the wings off flies, but eventually progressed to torturing squirrels and stray cats in his neighbourhood.

As an adult, Jack found that he did not get much thrill from harming animals, so he began hurting people instead. He has killed 5 homeless people that he abducted from poor neighbourhoods in his home city. Their dismembered bodies are currently buried in his basement.

Now, knowing what I have just told you about Jack, is it more probable that Jack is: A) A teacher. Or B) A teacher who does not believe in God?

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How Edgar Wright does visual comedy

This blog has been talking a lot recently about Simon Pegg-Nick Frost films. Reader kyoseki sent me a link to this clip to the skills of Edgar Wright, the director of many of the performances of the duo.. The person who put this clip together says that Wright is a master of using visual effects for comedic purposes and not depending simply on verbal gags, and shows how he does it.
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Former Bush official accuses Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld of war crimes

Richard Clarke is a Washington insider. He was national coordinator for security and counterterrorism and thus chief counter-terrorism officer in the White House when George W. Bush was president. He was also selected by president Obama as part of the team to review the workings of the NSA in light of Snowden’s revelations. He now tells Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! that he thinks that some of the things that Bush and Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld did in office were war crimes.
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Light blogging for the next few days

Starting today I will be travelling to attend a conference and so blogging will be light and sporadic. But to tide you over the hiatus here is a photo of Baxter the Wonder Dog out in the back yard enjoying the spring weather over the Memorial Day weekend.

Baxter1 5-26-14