The Daily Squib, Mar. 21, 2011
LONDON – England – After a recent spate of science programs commissioned by the BBC, many people are now complaining about how science is so dumbed down that even chavs understand it.
“Astronomical shows revealing the wonders of the universe are now prevalent on the BBC. In a concerted effort to bring science to the masses, the BBC is paying celebrity scientists vast sums of taxpayers money to travel to hundreds of locations around the world and speak with very simple lingo in a condescending faux empathetic manner about the universe…”
There have been hundreds of complaints about the latest dumbing down exercise by the BBC.
Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The BarrCode blog, Mar. 7, 2010
Advocates of the new, pared-down curriculum laud it because it does away with such “irrelevant” subjects as cursive writing. The ability to write longhand is seen as unnecessary, because students in this Brave New World of computers only need know how to type out commands on a computer keyboard.
Sure, the vast majority of students in today’s K through 12 will not become mathematicians or physicists. But simply because these subjects are not “relevant” in this sense, does not diminish or obviate the need to require the students — all students — to take these subjects in order to force them to develop basic analytical skills and an understanding of the forces at work in the world. These are life skills that will enable them to successfully compete later in life and in whatever fields they chose eventually to enter.
So it is with cursive writing. Students learn cursive not because they all will become professional writers or scribes. They learn it, first, because this is one of the primary ways in which modern man for hundreds of years has preserved and communicated ideas. The process of learning cursive also teaches the young mind to think and organize thoughts in a way that flows more easily and imaginatively than the stilted and childish block letters one learns in first and second grades.
CBSNews, Jan. 7, 2010
Putting fluoride in drinking water is all good, right? Let’s hope so. It’s been all but standard American policy for 50 years. But new research is pushing Uncle Sam to brush up his policy a bit.
According to the report from Centers for Disease Control, 2 out of 5 adolescents have tooth streaking or spottiness because of too much fluoride. In some extreme cases, teeth can even be pitted by the mineral — though many cases are so mild only dentists notice it. Young teens seem especially affected.
Fluoridation has been fought for decades by people who worried about its effects, including conspiracy theorists who feared it was a plot to make people submissive to government power.
SYDNEY MORNING HERALD
A mineral deficiency which can dumb down a whole population is evident and possibly rising in Australia, latest research into iodine in newborns has shown. Iodine deficiency can lop 10 to 15 points from an affected person’s IQ, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO) which also ranks Australia among about 50 countries known to have the deficiency.Full story