New Orleans

I read once somewhere that “the veneer of civilization is tissue-thin.” Turns out it’s true, as you can see in New Orleans and Biloxi, where Katrina did a bang-up job scrubbing off infrastructure.

It doesn’t seem possible a disaster of this magnitude could happen in the United States, but there it is. Millions of lives disrupted, possibly thousands lost — horrible.

Kafkaesque had this Red Cross Donate button — it’s linked directly to the official Red Cross donation page. If I could go to New Orleans and bail water out of the streets with a plastic pail in a bucket brigade, I would — but there are other ways we can help.

Help the Red Cross Assist Katrina's Victims

CPM Math vs. Traditional Math

Update 9/8/07: Here’s a great article on the state of K-12 math education in the U.S. and how any constructive debate on math instruction gets squelched by politics.

Last year Hubby and I attended a math orientation to learn about the differences between two types of math instruction offered at our local high school: CPM (College Preparatory Math) vs. “traditional” math.

They passed out a flier which I have transcribed below. I’ve also added my initial, uninformed, I-Was-An-English-Major opinion:

Continue reading “CPM Math vs. Traditional Math”

Another Reason to Go With Brown

Talk about destroying a fantastic advertising/public relations opportunity… FedEx is about to write a book on how to do it.

And all because a pink-haired software developer created some sturdy pieces of furniture out of FedEx boxes. For some inexplicable reason, FedEx can’t see any advantages in this public devotion to their brand and sent Avila a series of a “decease-and-desist” letters.

Who does the advertising and public relations for FedEx anyway? They need to get their rear ends down to the FedEx Legal Department and knock some sense into some stuffed shirts.

Col. David H. Hackworth: He Gave ’em Hell

My dad had an old 45 record that played the song “Old Soldiers Never Die (They Just Fade Away).” I hadn’t thought of that song in years—until I read that Col. David Hackworth passed away.

I have devoted so much of my later life crusading to save soldiers from uncaring generals and politicians and bureaucrats, who tend so easily to view these kids—who are rarely their own flesh and blood—as abstract pawns in a virtual game of chess, because I was there. I stood and was counted, and I will never forget the pain when I signed KIA letters in Korea and Vietnam. I would choke up as I signed them—I could see the boys’ faces, their cocky smiles, their muddy soldier suits. Each signing reinforced the awesome responsibility I carried as a leader to be as protective as possible about the young lives entrusted to me.

David Hackworth, November 22, 2005, “With Deepest Sympathy,” the column that revealed Donald Rumsfeld had been using a machine to sign letters of condolence to soldiers’ families.

Continue reading “Col. David H. Hackworth: He Gave ’em Hell”

Murphy’s Law

A big surprise today in San Diego: Mayor Dick Murphy announced his resignation, effective July 15.

Last fall Donna Frye should’ve been given the mayoral office chair, but Dick Murphy held on to it despite the fact a majority of San Diegans didn’t vote for him. In fact, there was some question as to how many people actually voted for him or for Frye, something that was unclear due to the arbitrary way votes were counted. Continue reading “Murphy’s Law”