Saturday, February 23, 2008

Sudden Revelation About Education

I was involved in a discussion about Math on an education website. One of the commenters wrote the following:

Every lesson was memorizing and practicing a new algorithm. I had the right
answer every time, but I can’t tell you the underlying purpose for even one.There needs to be some balance between memorization and understanding.

This is my response:

Here is the basis of the problem for almost every problem with modern education.
Modern education is based on curriculum written by education professionals, that is people who have been trained and educated in understanding underlying purposes and principles.
What most of them fail to understand, or have forgotten, is that the vast majority of people will never need, and do not desire, to understand the underlying purposes and principles. They just need to be able to get the right answer.

Elementary, Middle and High school students only need to learn how to get the right answers and memorize the basic facts. For something like 75% of the people, that is all they will ever need.

People who need to understand the underlying purposes and principles can go to college to learn them.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Anybody Got An Answer?

How come nobody has ever made a good movie about the War of 1812?

There are some great plotlines:

Dolley Madison saving the contents of the White House as the British invade and burn down our capital

Francis Scott Key writing the Star Spangled Banner

The naval battles of the Great Lakes

The Indian fighting in the mid west

Andrew Jackson and the Battle of New Orleans

The U.S.S. Constitution and the naval battles on the Atlantic

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Superbowl XLII (live blog)

3:20 P.M.- A fairly decent performance of the national anthem. Nothing new in the commercials except a Prison Break commercial.
3:24 - Jason Taylor gets the Walter Payton award for community service. Steve Walsh's family and some of his players participate in the coing toss...Lott (fight on) tosses the coin. Giants win and will receive. More Fox and NFL commercials.
3:28 - Interview with Ted Bruschi. (it's his 5th Superbowl) Ford commercial, Fox Promo.
3:30 - Kick off!...into the endzone..Giants bring it out past the twenty. First play hand off left for a three yard gain.
3:33 - 3rd and 6...Manning to Burriss, first down. (nice blitz pick up by the running back) First down, play action pass to the fullback in the flat.
3:35 - another 3rd and 6...first down to Steve Smith (fight on). Pretty funny Audi commercial with a Godfather homage.
3:39 - 3rd and inches. First down carry and more. This is a nice drive so far. The Giants are moving the ball and the clock..the best defese there is against Brady. Manning's first incomplete, a dropped ball.
3:42 - 3rd and 7......another first down throw to Steve Smith. (fight on) First down throw into the end zone to Burriss. Nice defense.
3:44 - 3rd and 10 inside the red zone. Complete to Smith (fight on) short of the first down.
3:45 - Tynes hits a 32 yd field goal...3-0 Giants. 9:59 opening drive. Pretty good Pepsi Max commercial with a A Night at the Roxbury homage.
3:47 - Kick off to the end zone, Maroney brings it out past the 40.
3:50 - First Patriots play a fake reverse into a screen, ball dropped and Brady nearly got sacked. Second play a nine yd run. 3rd down run for a first down.
3:52 - A first down pass, incomplete. 2nd down a completion to Stallworth. 3rd and 3 a first down by Welker.
3:56 - Inside the Giants red zone. First down incomplete pass. 2nd down dropped ball by Faulk. 3rd and 10......pass interference in the end zone. First down on the one. Maroney to the left, stopped on the last play of the 1st Quarter.

End of the First Quarter - Giants 3-0

3:59 - A pretty good Bridgestone commercial. Fox put some effort into their cross promotional commercials this year.
4:01 - Maroney to the right for a touchdown on the first play of the quarter. Patriots 7-3.
4:04 - Great Go Daddy.Com commercial.
4:04: Patriots kick off out of bounds..Giants start on the 40.
4:06 - A good Fed Ex commercial. A good Tide commercial.
4:09 - 3rd and 7......nice blitz pick up...bomb to Toomer for 38 yards....inside the red zone
4:11 - delay of game.
4:13 - 3rd and 6........ tipped by Smith (fight on) and intercepted by Hobbs. Great Budweiser commercial. Morton Downey Jr as IronMan?
4:16 - 3rd and 1 for the Patriots. Maroney stuffed in the backfield. First punt. Caught at the 19, brought out to the 37.
4:19 - OK Toyota commercial. A commercial for a movie called Leatherheads...looks amusing.
4:20 - Manning sacked on first down.
4:21 - fumble on the hand off. Giants keep the ball. (it's pretty clear that Bradshaw steals it back in the pile)
4:22 - Manning throws the ball into the ground on a failed screen. Punt to the 15..returned by Welker.
4:26 - Brady sacked on 2nd and 9.
4:27 - 3rd and 17.......Brady sacked again. Great defensive series by the Giants. Giants get great field position.
4:31 - nice 2nd down run by Bradshaw.
4:33 - Nice 2nd down run by Jacobs.
4:34 - 3rd and 4....Manning fumbles...Smith recovers for a first down, flag down. Illegal bat. 10 yd penalty.
4:37 - 3rd and 18. Incomplete, nearly intercepted.
4:38 - Great Planters commercial.
4:40 - Giants punt.......fair catch at the 11. 1:47 left in the half, Patriots have all three time outs.
4:42 - a Doritos commercial I'm ashamed to say I laughed at.
4:43 - Patriots attempt a bomb, Brady gets hit as he throws, incomplete. Maroney stopped in the backfield on 2nd. Giants call time out with 1:35 to go.
4:44 - 3rd and 13 from inside their 10.......screen to Stallworth for a first down.
4:45 - Another try for a bomb, Brady hit again, incomplete.
4:46 - a run for a first, 10 yd holding call, 2nd and 12 with :59 left.....Patriots time out.
4:48 - 2nd and 12.......another screen to the left, 3rd and 4.......throw to Faulk for the first. Patriots second time out, 28 seconds left
4:50 - long throw to Moss, his first catch.
4:50- ball knocked from Brady's hand...Giants recober...:10 left. Giants got good pressure on Brady in the first half.
4:52 - Moss on the field on defense for the Patriots. Patriots third time out.
4:53 - Hail Mary into the end zone..incomplete.

Halftime Patiots 7-3
5:16 - Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers did a good job with the halftime show.
5:25 - second half kick off. Patriots start from the 21. First down pass to Welker for 15 yards
5:26 - nice first down run by Maroney for 7 yards.
5:27 - 3rd and 3......dump to Faulk for the first. Brady takes another hit.
5:28 - Maroney stopped in the backfield
5:29 - 3rd and 5....stopped short......Giants force a punt.
5:32 - Anyone else think the sales genie ads are faintly racist? They're certainly not PC.
5:34 - Patriots challenging ...Giants may have had twelve men on the field for the would give the Patriots a first down.
5:36 - another good Bridgestone ad. has had a couple of good ads.
5:37 - Patriots win the challenge.
5:39 - another screen. The Patriots are throwing a lot of them. Giants are handling them well.
5:40 - 3rd and 13...the defender gave the patriots the first down during the tackle.
5:41 - Brady now has the record for most completions all time in the Superbowl.
5:42 - 3rd and 7......Sack by Strahan.
5:43 - 4th and 14 ...Patriots go for it, Patriots incomplete in the end zone. Moss still only has one catch. Giants take over on downs.
5:46 - looks like Faulk pulled up lame on that 4th down play for the Patriots.
5:49 - Manning throws a long bomb to Burriss...he was triple covered at the end....
5:50 - 3rd and 6.......dropped by Burriss. Punt. Patriots take over at the 10.
5:54 - false start...1st and 15 from the 5 for the Patriots.
5:55 - Brady nearly sacked in the end zone. The Giants are living in the Patriot's backfield. Brady throws to Welker for a first down on second down. Welker is huge for the Patriots so far.
5:57 - Welker across the middle again for 19 yards.
5:59 - Another false start. 2nd and 15......Brady deep for Moss but way off target.
6:00 - 3rd and 15........another screen, talked short
End of Third Quarter Patriots 7-3
6:04 - Punt into the end zone. Giants will start from the 20.
6:07 - nice catch and run by Boss for 45 yards.
6:09 - 3rd and 4....first down for Smith (fight on) at the 12. Giants inside the red zone....nice first down run by Bradshaw.
6:11 - TD pass to Tyree over the middle. Giants 10-7 after an 80 yard drive.
6:12 - an OK Coke commercial with Carville and Frist. It would have been better with Rove or Buchanan.....
6:14 - Giants kick off......Maroney with a good return, but a holding call kills it.....
6:16 - Patriots start from their 11..1st and 10......Throw to Moss for a first down and his second catch....
6:18 - another screen..the Giants stop it for three..Brady overthrows Moss on second down
6:19 - 3rd and 7...... incomplete.. Brady under pressure and should have been sacked
6:20 - Giants take over on their 29 with 9:20 left...that decision by the Patriots to go for it on that fourth down instead of kicking a field goal starts to loom large...
6:23 - Manning spins out of a sack...and then overthrows a wide open Burriss in the flat...
6:24 - 3rd and 9... completion to Toomer 1 yd short of a first...Giants punt
6:26 - Patriots take over on their 20....Giants take only a little over 1 minute off the clock...not a good possession.
6:29 - Moss gets his third catchon a short completion
6:30 - 9 yard run by Maroney, another catch for Welker across the middle, his 10th. The Giants defense has to be getting tired. Patriots are making a methodical drive...
6:32 - Welker across the middle again! Nice run after catch
6:33 - Moss catches across the middle short. Patriots are in the red zone.
6:34 - Faulk a catch and run across the middle for 12...the Patriots have found a weakness and are exploiting it...
6:35 - Patriots have a first and goal at the 7 with 3:12 left...
6:36 - Brady overthrows an open Moss in the end zone..
6:37 - Brady misses Welker across the middle...3rd and goal from the 7 coming up
6:39 - Brady to Moss for a TD. Patriots 14-10 with 2:42 left.
6:41 - Giants will start from their 17.
6:44 - 2 minute warning. The Giants have a 3rd and 10.
6:47 - 4th and inches...Giants are going for it....Jacobs gets the first...1:28 left
6:49 - Manning scrambles for 5..ground causes a fumble..Manning recovers..Giants take their first time out.
6:51 - 3rd and 5.......Manning escapes a sack and makes a long completion to Tyree at the Patriot 24 with :59 left. Giants time out..1 left
6:53 - Manning tackled for a 1 yd loss...Patriots are blitzing on every down and getting pressure..
6:54 - dropped by Tyree..could have been intercepted...a wounded duck of a throw..
6:55 - 3rd and 11... throw to Steve Smith (fight on) first down and out of bounds...inside the red zone
6:56 - TD throw to a wide open Burriss with 35 seconds left...Giants up 17-14. Manning has played a hell of a game. If the Giants hold on, he's the MVP.
6:58 - Patriots start from their 25 with :29 and 3 time outs.. a filed goal ties
6:59 - Brady throws a bomb...could have been intercepted, no receiver close
7:00 - Brady sacked hard! Patriots time out :19 left, 3rd and 20.....
7:01 - Brady long to Moss...he's doubled covered...Moss beat the defenders but had to wait for the ball...Patriots time out.....The only thing I hate about this is how happy the 1972 Dolphins will be.
7:03 - 4th and 20........Brady long to Moss again...broken up...Giants take over with 1 sec left...congratulations Giants.....I called the result; came close on the margin; blew the score. (I picked Giants 35-31.)
7:06 - Belichick shows his ass....
7:28 - Manning got the MVP like he deserved. A great game, both teams played well...