Virtual Home Invasion Regardless of School Choice

24 08 2007

I just got a big kick out of this, after all the homeschooler angst about
technology at school and virtual school at home subsuming our family lives as we’ve known them. Turns out we were indeed being subsumed by the Borg, but School or Unschool had nothing to do with it!

That was my first inkling of how the vastly expanded electronic and informational needs of houseguests would flavor our time together. Soon guests were positioning themselves to get dibs on one of the three computers in our Long Island house the way they would otherwise line up to jump in the shower.

By the next morning, “I wonder if you could do me a favor?” was a question I fielded every few minutes . . .

“Just need to have something faxed, and maybe I could scan this to a PDF and e-mail it, too, if it’s no trouble?”

No trouble indeed, but such requests began to mount. . .

Nance told our pde list a good day-in-the-life story that brings “home” the point:

OK, so you are a 14-month-old houseguest and you are presented with:

Pretty — I think — blue and white chopstick holders (you never know when you might need them! 🙂 )


A silvery indoor-outdoor thermometer, complete with buttons that beep.

Apparently, the correct choice is the thermometer!   I was surprised, thinking I needed to be cautious about the china (cheap but I like them) thingy,  when it was the electronic thingy that was the real attraction.

Kids today! And apparently everybody else! 🙂

Fencing And Football: Level Playing Field, Ha!

24 08 2007

JJ’s Disclaimer: I was a college fencer at UF, once a southeastern champion in women’s under-19 foil, qualified for a few nationals and once the Olympic trials (for a quick first round exit!) The whole thing was out-of-pocket, no support from the university except for that trip to the Olympic trials, when we got involved enough in student government politics to make a successful pitch for a few hundred bucks each out of the activity fees. No coaches, no trainers.

We used to drive ourselves around the state to weekend tournaments in a Datsun, and sleep in front of the gym because we couldn’t afford motel rooms. Sometimes we bunked in the local locker rooms. The resulting kinks and stiffness on the strip the next day were all part of our thrill of victory and agony of defeat! 🙂


One Sunday morning every fall, members of the Penn State fencing team spend hours scraping nacho cheese, chewing tobacco, peanut shells and cigarette butts off the floor of the university’s 107,000-seat football stadium.

Cleaning after a home game is an annual fund-raising ritual for the team, a coed varsity program that is one of the most successful in national competition. Unfortunately for Division I athletes in sports like fencing, winning championships does not guarantee financial stability. . .

“Expelled”: Another Comedian Craving Credibility of Drama?

24 08 2007

Will his upcoming issue movie “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed” seriously cast ID-ealogues as champions of academic freedom, the persecuted victims of evil scientists and power-mad professors in super-atheist academe? Has Ben Stein, once the out-of-touch teacher in Ferris Bueller’s coma-inducing high school classroom, now typecast himself in the same role for real life? Are we teetering on America’s Rational Edge being pushed into the abyss by legalistic scrambles of sophist distortions served up to put us back in our divine place as mere creatures?

See trailers here.

The movie’s official website compares Expelled to Fahrenheit 9/11 and An Inconvenient Truth, but on a “controversial” scale rather than a “credibility” scale. I think maybe the credibility comparison will prove apt.

Here’s what the Discovery Institute thinks.
Here’s what the Skeptic Friends Network thinks.
Here’s what first came to my mind.
What do you think?