I've got lots of links today, so I'll try and keep my commentary to a minimum...
- It’s cruel not to teach children grammar from The Telegraph.
The academic orthodoxy that made spelling tests anathema scrubbed all grammar from the curriculum. The thinking was that traditional grammar, being based on Latin, failed to describe accurately the structure of English.
There’s something in that, but only in the way that Newtonian physics fails to describe the more secret habits of subatomic particles. To make a chair or build a house, Newton does very well. And so does secondhand Latin grammar, even if there is no such thing in English as a gerundive.
- Nearly one in 10 employers to drop health coverage from The Washington Times. Shocking!
One in three respondents said they could stop offering coverage if the law requires them to provide more generous benefits than they do now, if a tax on high-cost plans takes effect in 2018 as scheduled or if they decide it would be cheaper for them to pay the penalty for not providing insurance.
- Chick-fil-A: if you’re not sure, this is how fascism works by The Anchoress.
[I]f a business willfully inserts itself into a political issue, that’s “one thing” but if a business is forced to declare its political beliefs — and if that declaration can mean the difference between getting a license or not, that’s “something else.”
It’s fascism, actually.
- Teflon Coated Light Bulbs Deadly to Chickens from Root Simple. I wouldn't suggest using these in your home, either!
In the letters section of this month's issue of Backyard Poultry Magazine is the story of a woman who lost a flock of nineteen chickens after they succumbed to fumes put off by a GE Rough Service Worklight that was in the coop. When the bulbs heat up they release fumes that are deadly to chickens and other birds.
- California Proposes Tax On Driving from AOL.California: bringing to new meaning to that joke about 'if it moves, tax it.'
The Metropolitan Transportation Commission of San Francisco is behind the idea and has said that the tax would work by installing GPS units into cars to track the miles that they travel. The vehicle owners would then be charged accordingly, with low-income drivers exempted.
- Curriculum Envy from Classical Writing.
Suzie Q. Homeschooler is raving about this new spelling in a box, which self-teaches , mops floors, and produces flawless spellers in less than 10 minutes per day, and …well, you wonder. Should you get this too?? Your own Homeschool ABC does the 3rd grade spelling you need. Only, your daughter is not as content with her daily spelling drills as Suzie Q. reports her son to be. And the floor-mopping feature is downright irresistible. The kitchen floor has bothered you ever since 2007 when Snowball had her first litter of kittens.
- Gun carrying man ends stabbing spree at Salt Lake grocery store by Don Hudson. Not that you needed it, but a story on how guns aren't all bad. A little graphic, though, so be warned!
Then, before the suspect could find another victim - a citizen with a gun stopped the madness. "A guy pulled gun on him and told him to drop his weapon or he would shoot him. So, he dropped his weapon and the people from Smith's grabbed him."
- A College Reinvents Teacher Education by Daniel Coupland. Interesting connection to last week's reading on specialization!
First, we concluded that teachers need a broad liberal arts education. Hillsdale is a liberal arts college and its education faculty takes this identity seriously. We believe that it’s not enough for a teacher to be a specialist in one subject area or to be a pedagogical technician. The best teachers are liberally educated and know how numerous subjects fit together to form a coherent picture of reality. Such an image can only develop if future teachers have a rigorous core curriculum that addresses the sciences, language, history, art, etc.
- Significant Changes from Ordo Amoris.
By not following the rules I am not sacrificing my children's education; I am securing it. I really believe that or I would just take the easy way out and do what I am told.
- Illegal Front Yard Garden: Canadian Couple's Kitchen Garden Targeted By Authorities from The Huffington Post. The logical outcome of zoning laws, and the primary reason I am against them.
CBC News reports that if the couple fails to remove a significant enough portion of their garden, they could expect fines of between $100 and $300 each day.
- Even Earthworms Are Bad Now by Gene Logsdon.
I know it is impertinent for a non-scientist to argue with the experts, but their conclusions in this case run counter to my experience in my tree groves and to my sense of logic. First of all, since the earthworms being discussed mostly came from Europe, why didn’t they destroy any forests over there?