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Educators Can’t Justify Their PISA Da Pie December 5, 2019

Posted by geoff in News.

A number of commenters around the ‘Tubes have noted that the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)’s recent Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) report showed no progress for US students in reading or math. They fault Common Core for providing no educational benefit.

This is true, but I think they missed a key point.

Check this out (from p. 20 in the report):

PISA results show that there is a positive relationship between investment in education and average performance – up to a threshold of USD 50,000 in cumulative expenditure per student from age 6 to 15 (Figure 9). However, after that threshold, there is almost no relationship between the amount invested in education and student performance.

…Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States all spend more than
USD 107 000 per student from age 6 to 15, yet scored no better than (and in some cases, below) Canada, Ireland and New Zealand, all of which spend between 10% and 30% less.

Yes, despite the pleas of teachers and school administrators to stop being greedy and spend more on education, we’re already well past the point of positive return on spending. The US spends about $127K educating kids from the years of 6 – 15, almost 50% higher than the OECD average, and 2.5X the $50K limit on positive return.

When progressives look at health care spending and our country’s ranking in life expectancy, they throw a fit over the high costs and lack of results (even though that’s a stupid, stupid argument and abuse of data). But when looking at the much stronger and more valid relationship between money and student performance, their solution is to tax more and spend more.

But that inconsistency is probably just another indicator of the poor efficacy of our educational system.

Gates Goes Nuclear November 27, 2019

Posted by Retired Geezer in Entertainment, Man Laws, News.
1 comment so far

Three Words: Traveling. Wave. Reactor.


From the Unsavory Headlines Department November 25, 2019

Posted by geoff in News.
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Eye-popping rise in BB-gun injuries, study finds


Just in Time for Reparations! November 25, 2019

Posted by geoff in News.

Anyone Can Identify as Black, Lecturers Union Says

The UCU, the British union of university lecturers, said that white people should be able to identify as black, men as women, or straight people as gay.


Scary Robot with Guns November 4, 2019

Posted by Retired Geezer in Ballistics, Gardening, News.

OK we all know this is Photoshopped but the quality is pretty amazing.

Thanks to my buddy Kelly, The Skydiving Realtor, for sending this to me.

The Cost of Elizabeth Warren November 2, 2019

Posted by geoff in News.

Many commentators have gasped over Elizabeth Warren’s $52 billion (over 10 years) Medicare-for-All plan, and have laughed at her optimistic, double-booked, scheme for funding it. But I haven’t seen anybody tally up the costs of all her plans.

But I don’t get out much.

Anyway, presuming you haven’t seen a total either, here goes (all numbers taken from her website):

Program 10-Year Cost
Environment $3 Trillion
Medicare-for-All $52 Trillion
Education $1.25 Trillion
Child Care ~$0.7 Trillion*
Gun Control 0.001 Trillion
Immigration 0.015 Trillion
Social Security >$1.5 Trillion**
TOTAL $58.6 Trillion


I may have missed a few, but I think that’s bad enough. For reference, the CBO’s latest 10-year budget projection (2020 – 2029) for the entire federal budget is $57.85 trillion.

She claims that it’ll all be paid for by increased taxes on corporations and the wealthy.


*Her website says that the cost will be roughly 1/4 of $2.75 trillion
** She never tallies it up, but just her provision for adding $200/month/person is $1.46 trillion

Double the Fashion November 2, 2019

Posted by geoff in Fashion.

Been so long since I graced the ‘tubes with a fashion post, so let me rectify that by casting a pearl before your benighted swinely selves. I know some of my previous fashion recommendations may have seemed a bit exotic or frivolous, but I truly believe this one has legs.

Four, to be exact.

Yes, this particular look requires a pair of ladies, which is obviously a feature, not a bug. Please enjoy this Siamese dress from famed Chinese designer Guo Pei (via The Telegraph, photo by James Veysey):


No word on how hangers for this dress work.

Brief Movie Reviews November 1, 2019

Posted by geoff in News.
1 comment so far

Hopefully not too spoilery. Obviously focused on action/action comedy movies, since my taste in movies stopped evolving at age 16.

Hobbes and Shaw (2019): First hour and a half are great – lots of action, quipping, and explosions. Female lead (Vanessa Kirby) is outstanding. Johnson and Statham are fun, and the cameos by Ryan Reynolds and Kevin Hart leave you wanting more. Idris Elba’s villain was smart, competent, and menacing.

Then they get to Samoa, and things get ridiculously stupid very quickly. I’m talking super, super, super stupid.

Shaft (2019): Started off a little slow, and Jessie Usher (playing baby Shaft) seemed stiff at the beginning, but then things started gelling. Ended up really liking it, and especially liked the appearance of Richard Roundtree as granddaddy Shaft.

Avengers Endgame (2019): I’m probably one of the few people who didn’t like Endgame. Cheesy plot gimmick, too much of a TV series farewell episode vibe, too PC, too many characters at the end, and unsatisfying resolutions of many of the stories. But it sure is long!

Spiderman: Far From Home (2019): Great movie – funny, actiony, super effects, and a bit of heart. Peter Parker may be a bit whiny, but he’s at that age.

John Wick 3 (2019). Just lots and lots and more lots of shooting, peppered with really creative (and funny) alternate ways of killing people. Which I love. Kind of the same pace as Dredd or The Raid. Which I love.

The Magnitude of Lobbying October 27, 2019

Posted by geoff in News.

Never really understood how much money is spent on lobbying every year. Open Secrets tallied it up:

That’s $2.5 billion every single year.

It’s no wonder Washington DC doesn’t seem particularly well-aligned with the interests of the rest of us.

The Terror of the CA Fires October 27, 2019

Posted by geoff in News.
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This video, taken by a family’s doorbell camera, shows the family’s panicked evacuation from their home as the CA fire approaches. You can see flames at the right of the screen.

Freaky stuff.

Merkel Recants October 21, 2019

Posted by geoff in News.

The poster chancellor for open borders finally acknowledges reality:

Speaking to a meeting of young members of her Christian Democrats (CDU), Merkel said allowing people of different cultural backgrounds to live side by side without integrating had not worked in a country that is home to some four million Muslims.
“This (multicultural) approach has failed, utterly failed,” Merkel told the meeting in Potsdam, south of Berlin.

She said too little had been required of immigrants in the past and repeated her usual line that they should learn German in order to get by in school and have opportunities on the labor market.


What a difference 2 years make:

German Chancellor Angela Merkel defended her controversial decision to admit over a million refugees in 2015, and insisted she had no regrets, saying she would take the big decisions “the same way again.”

“It was an extraordinary situation and I made my decision based on what I thought was right from a political and humanitarian standpoint,” she told the Welt am Sonntag.

“I’d make all the important decisions of 2015 the same way again,” Merkel added.

After years of lecturing the world on their moral responsibility to accommodate society-shifting levels of refugee immigration, Merkel finally acknowledges the damage she has caused.

Molokai Tide October 20, 2019

Posted by skinbad in Music.

So yesterday, I was sitting in a parking lot in the family truckster waiting for the Mrs. to return from stimulating the local economy. The radio was dialed in to an easy-listening/oldies-ish station and a song came on that I’d never heard. My thought process went something like this:

  • That’s a really pretty song
  • That sounds like The Beatles
  • No. It’s more like a folk song
  • What the hell is he saying?
  • Molokai Tide?
  • That’s a weird Hawaiian song
  • Bagpipes? Whaaa?

Then I found some paper and scribbled down some lyrics so I could look it up. So it’s “Mull of Kintyre” written by Paul McCartney (with Wings) in 1977 and is about the area in Scotland where he has had a home since the 60s. It’s one of the best selling singles of all time in the UK. You can read about it if you care. Anyway, the bagpipes make a lot more sense for Scotland than Hawaii. Mystery solved. Once in a while I’m reminded that those Beatles lads were a talented bunch.