Saturday, January 9, 2016

Separated at birth

Is it just me? Or do others, too, find that this "El Chapo" fella looks awfully familiar?

Friday, January 8, 2016

5 years ago today: tea & bullets

TEA AND BULLETS, DtB, Jan 8, 2011

"Arizona has become a Mecca for prejudice and bigotry."
—Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik
(at a press conference today)

"Don’t Retreat; Instead – RELOAD!"
—Sarah Palin

"We’re paying particular attention to those House members who voted in favor of Obamacare and represent districts that Senator John McCain and I carried during the 2008 election... [W]e’re going to hold them accountable for this disastrous Obamacare vote. They are: Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ-1), Harry E. Mitchell (AZ-5), Gabrielle Giffords (AZ-8)...."
—Sarah Palin


Referring students, sight unseen, to tutoring? Huh? DtB, Jan 8 11

Jared Lee Loughner, DtB, Jan 10 11
Alleged Shooter Was Suspended by Pima CC (Inside Higher Ed)

     Jared Lee Loughner, the suspect in the shootings of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and others on Saturday, withdrew from Pima Community College in October, after the college had suspended him. A statement from the college said that he was suspended after five contacts with college police officers and after the college discovered a YouTube video, made on a Pima campus, in which Loughner claimed that the college was an illegal organization under the U.S. Constitution....

Trump and Other Republicans Do the Gun Lobby’s Bidding (NYT, Jan 8)
     Just when President Obama was attempting a reasoned debate on gun control this week, Donald Trump was engaged in his latest pandering to the gun rights crowd — vowing as president to strike down laws that bar firearms from schools….
. . .
     It was remarkable, too, for its contrast with Mr. Obama’s televised defense of his own modest gun proposals, for which he asked full and fair attention by this year’s presidential candidates so that all of them might rationally address genuine public concerns with the grim reality of 30,000 gun deaths every year.
     Mr. Trump quickly dashed that hope, though his response has been no worse than those of the other Republican candidates, who across the board have peddled simplistic evasions and dangerous misinformation. “Obama Wants Your Guns,” warns a deceitful fund-raising pitch on Senator Ted Cruz’s website, which also features a photograph of Mr. Obama distorted to show him in military attack helmet and combat uniform ready to confiscate the hundreds of millions of guns now in public hands. These are among other hallucinatory fictions peddled by opportunists like Mr. Cruz as they comfort an arms industry enriched by a gun mortality rate far higher than that of any other modern nation.
 PLUTO: An ‘X’ formation appears on the surface of Pluto in one of the newly released photos taken by New Horizons for Nasa. Photograph: Nasa/JHUAPL/SwRI

Monday, January 4, 2016

Irvine, 90 years ago

Many if not all of these photos depict the area that is now called "Old Town" in Irvine (Sand Canyon at, or just south of, the 5). Click on photos to enlarge them.

Bonus pics:

Jeffrey Rd. at Triomph, Irvine, Aug. 1968 or 1969.
IVC was constructed ten years later—down the road and to the left

Perspective of above photo
El Toro Rd. @ Laguna Canyon, c. 1973 (not quite in Irvine)
Culver Drive @ University, looking south, c. 1963.
Assuming we're on Culver, the future site of Mason Park would be ahead and to the right of the road (i.e., straight ahead). UCI would be behind Mason Park (dead ahead, more or less, beyond that darkened hill).

8-14: do you regret all the lying?

✅ Trump Encourages Racist Conspiracy Theory on Kamala Harris’s Eligibility to Be Vice President NYT ✅ Orange County Sees Overall Coronavirus...

Goals and Values and Twaddle

blather: long-winded talk with no real substance*
The whole concept of MSLOs [measurable student learning outcomes] as the latest fad in education is somewhat akin to the now discredited fad of the '90's, Total Quality Management, or TQM. Essentially, the ACCJC adopted MSLOs as the overarching basis for accrediting community colleges based on their faith in the theoretical treatises of a movement.... After repeated requests for research showing that such use of MSLOs is effective, none has been forthcoming from the ACCJC [accreditors]. Prior to large scale imposition of such a requirement at all institutions, research should be provided to establish that continuous monitoring of MSLOs has resulted in measurable improvements in student success at a given institution. No such research is forthcoming because there is none….
The Accountability Game…., Leon F. Marzillier (Academic Senate for California Community Colleges, October, 2002)
In the summer of ’13, I offered a critique of the awkward verbiage by which the district and colleges explain their values, goals, and objectives —aka SOCCCD'S G&V (goals and values) blather.
I wrote a post each for the district, Saddleback College, and Irvine Valley College efforts. (See the links below.)
This verbiage—stated in terms of “values,” “missions,” “goals,” “visions,” and whatnot—is often badly written. It is sometimes embarrassingly trite.
It occasionally communicates something worthwhile.
No doubt you are familiar with the usual objections to jargon. Higher education, too, has its jargon—an irony, given typical college-level instruction in writing, which urges jargon eschewery.
Sure enough, SOCCCD G&V blather is riddled with jargon and with terms misused and abused. For instance, in the case of the district’s dubious blather, the so-called “vision” is actually a purpose. Why didn't they just call it that?
As one slogs through this prattle, one finds that "visions" tend to be awfully similar to “missions,” with which they are distinguished. The latter in turn are awfully similar to “goals,” which must be distinguished from “objectives.” But aren't goals and objectives pretty much the same thing?
These perverse word games will surely perplex or annoy anyone armed with a command of the English language. In fact, readers will be perplexed to the degree that they are thus armed. Illiterates, of course, will be untroubled.
Here's a simple point: the district and colleges’ G&V blather tends to eschew good, plain English in favor of technical terms and trendy words and phrases (i.e., it tends to be bullshitty and vague). Thus, one encounters such trendy terminological turds as “dynamic,” “diversity,” “student success,” and “student-centered.” Even meretricious neologisms such as ISLOs and “persistence rates” pop up, unexplained, undefended.
Does anyone see a transparency problem with all of this? Shouldn't the public, or at least the well educated public, be able to comprehend statements of the colleges' goals and values?
In the case of the district, to its credit, all it really seems to want to say is that it wants to teach well and it wants students to succeed. Admirable!
So why all the ugly, common-sense defying, buzzword-encrusted claptrap?

Districtular poppycock: our “vision” and our “mission” and our tolerance of twaddle - July 31, 2013

THEY BUZZ: Saddleback College's "Mission, Vision, and Values" - August 4, 2013

IVC’s vision, mission, and goals: nonsense on stilts - August 5, 2013

THE IRVINE VALLEY CHRONICLES: no ideas, just clichés & buzzwords - Sep 30, 2013

*From my Apple laptop's dictionary