I have listened in and read some of the information being shared at the NBC Education Nation Summit. They say it is NBC News' "initiative to engage the country in a solutions-focused conversation about the state of education in America."
After reading an article on the "Corporate Education Reform Movement" I wondered who the sponsors were of the NBC program - with the exception of the University of Phoenix which has some questionable practices and claims, they were mostly foundations with varying approaches and programs to aid education.
I was happy to see that the companies who produce data driven standardized tests and technology for the classroom were not in evidence - at least openly. Why? Here is a quote from Tom Watkins, one of the major "consultants" to those businesses:
Let's hope the fiscal crisis doesn't get better too soon It'll slow down reform.
And why would that be? Well, under the stress of budget cuts and the duress of more threatened, schools are turning to the products of these "Education Reform Corporations" in an attempt to make the changes demanded by the feds, the states and the politicians. The schools can say "Look, we invested in all these tests and all these technology programs - see? We reforming."
However, in their panic, they are ignoring the fact that the kids using the technology and taking the tests are not doing better. There is no proof that the billions of dollars are improving basic learning. But they sure are improving the bottom line of the companies which produce them.
So why is this the continued focus of political education reformers? Follow the money.
1.) Kirsty Alley is the latest celeb who can't win with those tabloids. She was ridiculed and shamed when she gained weight. Then she lost some on Jenny Craig but gained it back and they crowed over each pound - like they actually know her weight at any given moment. She got serious enough about learning what worked for her that she started her own line of organic weight loss items and she has shed, she says, 100 pounds.
She had a triumphant opportunity to walk the runway in a recent show for a designer showing off her new slimmer form. And what do the tabloids now run as their headlines? If you think there were compliments - forget it. They are claiming she is bulimic and/or has gastric by-pass surgery. She is shamed if she is fat and now they are trying to sham her when she slims down. What a bunch of creeps - and so are the people who buy those rags.
2.) Join the campaign Mrs. G has mounted on Facebook to support Ben & Jerry's and their Schweddy Balls ice cream!!
3.) So who is making up the guest lists for the audiences at the Republican debates? They booed a gay soldier last night, following their cheers for the number of inmates executed in Texas and the idea of letting uninsured people die without medical care.
At least when Carl Rove was picking the audiences for Bush, they kept out the rowdy rednecks.
4.) I am no fan of Rick Perry and the fact that he has taken thousands of campaign dollars from the manufacturer of the HPV vaccine makes him rightly vulnerable to attack for self-dealing. However, I support the use of the HPV vaccine wholeheartedly.
A young woman I know contracted HPV and then cervical cancer when she was only 23. Her former finance cheated on her and the result is that it's unlikely she will be able to carry a pregnancy. There is no excuse for these tragic outcomes when there is a vaccine to save the next generation from this virus.
My daughters have been vaccinated and now I am urging my son to be vaccinated, too. (At the time the girls were vaccinated they were not allowing it for boys.) The physician I spoke with said that it is very important for young men to be vaccinated so they do not become carriers of the virus, plus there are other types of cancer which may be connected to the virus though more research must be done. she also said that the vaccine works against other, similar viruses.
This seems like a no brainer to me. It is silly to think giving them this vaccine when they are teens or pre-teens will somehow open the floodgates to early sexual activity. They will become sexually active at some point in their lives and we should do our part to protect their health and the health of their partners.
A while back I posted about my search for a new fragrance, which is yet to be found. I wore a perfume called TOVA for 10 years and loved it. That phrase from Jerry Maguire "you complete me." That was me and TOVA.
Then QVC purchased the TOVA company and they reformulated the perfume. Some say to make it more cheaply, some say the ingredients are no longer available. All I know is that I have not heard a great outcry that other perfumes were changed - just TOVA, so the ingredients not available thing sounds like an excuse from QVC.
For a while I found a reputable seller on eBay who had acquired some of the original perfume and I paid double the price in order to have it - a squeeze on my budget at $80.00! That seller ran out and I was not in a position to pay the ever inflating prices for more of the few remaining bottles, so I have gone perfumeless.
Just on a whim I checked on eBay to see if there was any more available, I found half used bottles sellers claim to have found in the back of the closet selling for $76.00 and $100.00. The 3 new bottles that were up for auction were selling between $250. and $300.00!
It strikes me that QVC could go back to the original, quality formula and still make a boatload of money because there are so many of us out here at significant levels of desperation to get our favorite scent again.
Of course, since QVC claims they have not changed the formula at all, ever, in any way they might have to come up with some kind of new name for it. But those of us who love the fragrance will accept a TOVA by any other name.
We have been debating about our cable TV bill, well, really, about our cable TV in general. Because I work nights I don't see much TV during the week. I DVR the shows I especially like and usually watch them after I get home until I am sleepy and go to bed.
I don't watch all that much TV during the day - though I admit I watched the better part of an old favorite (An Unmarried Woman) this afternoon before I went to work. I sometimes like having the TV on when I am alone in the house and doing things in the kitchen. I can turn the sound up really loud and hear it through the noise of housework.
What Tom really wants is to watch less TV. He feels he is watching too much. He is unsatisfied with the offerings, but he watches anyway. When he broached the idea of reducing the channels, I thought "Not Showtime!" That means Weeds, The Big C and Dexter. Back to having to wait nearly a year for the seasons to come out on DVD! He claims we can watch them on the computer sooner, but I have never had any luck with that.
When we looked at the channel line-up packages, we both agreed we couldn't go without Bravo, Lifetime and AMC. That means Top Chef, Project Runway, Mad Men and Breaking Bad. So that takes us up a tier and the cost is amazingly close to the cost we are paying now for all the channels. That's how we ended up here. Those cable people really know which channels we actually watch - they say we get 600 channels, but we only watch about 10 of them - they know what they are doing and toss them in the more expensive package and then sweeten the deal with super cheap HBO, STARZ and Encore.
Oh no, if we drop HBO I'll miss Boardwalk Empire. Damn.
I am making the call tomorrow. I may just have to drop it all down to basic and see how painful it is.
Hello? Women over 25 loved an entire series about sex.
I was reading a Forbes article titled Women Over 25 Don't Like Sex. That premise is based on the following exchange regarding a new movie called "What's Your Number?"
In the New Yorker piece, Faris and the film’s director, Mark Mylod, watch a scene from the film. In it, Faris’s character declares that she’s a “whore,” and wants someone who will “appreciate that” about her. During a test screening, the audience laughed at the line, but the director remained wary. “Younger women lap up the nudity and sexual humor,” he was quoted as saying. “Women over 25—some are worried by it.”
What most men and Hollywood don't get about women beyond college age is this: we do not find humor in being called derogatory names. We do not think being called, or having your characters call themselves, whore or slut or whatever "funny" thing your writers come up with laughable.
Unlike some of your younger, less experienced audience, we know something about discrimination and don't appreciate the efforts to keep us "in our place" by making our sexual selves the butt of the joke. And since when do you figure we don't enjoy nudity? Oh, maybe because it's pretty much only there to gratify the men in the audience...
Don't write off women over 25 as being over sex - what we are over is male oriented, juvenile and I'll use the m word, misogynistic "entertainment."
Apparently someone at JC Penny thought this was a "Fun Tee" for 7-16 year old girls!
They apparently got a lot of flak for it and have removed it from their catalog.
However this one is still there:
Do they not have women who work for Penny's? Or men who have daughters? Or someone who might, in 2011, for heaven's sake , see that this is a sexist and negative message to send? Or is everyone out there in retail land out to make sure yet another generation of women grow up thinking their most important attribute is their looks and that intelligence and success is for men.
And all these tee shirts which have been pulled from the website? Where do you suppose they are going to end up? I suspect that they will be sold in a Third World Country where the women don't have anyone looking out for their best interests.