Posted on 15-06-2008
Filed Under (Miscellaneous) by gashed

CogDog and Gardner Writes have just blogged about wordle.net .  You simply enter a list of words, and wordle constructs an elegant word cloud.  The size of the word is based on its frequency in your list.

Somone did it for Martin Luther King’s ‘I have a dream speech’.

i have a dream

 

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Posted on 14-06-2008
Filed Under (Miscellaneous) by gashed

lisbon treaty

Electorate Spoilt votes Total poll (%) For (%) Against (%)
3,051,278 6,171 1,621,037 (53.1%) 752,451 (46.6%) 862,415 (53.4%)

I feel I owe 800,000,000 people an apology.

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Posted on 09-02-2008
Filed Under (Miscellaneous) by gashed

Here’s something interesting.

All the English words for meat before it is cooked: cow, swine, sheep, calf etc. are Saxon in origin.  While the words for meat after it has been cooked are Norman in origin, e.g. beef, pork, mutton and veal.  Any idea why?

As the Normans conquered the Saxons in the 11th C, the Saxons became the servants.  In the kitchen they used their own words for the meat, but when serving in the dining room the Norman words were required! 

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Posted on 07-02-2008
Filed Under (Miscellaneous, teaching) by gashed

What is the purpose of education?  In Ireland, as elsewhere, often discussed is the methods or techniques of schooling, how best to engineer learning in the classroom.  Less reflected on is the function of the education system, why do we persist with compulsory schooling Ireland, to what end does it serve.  What is the philosophy that determines the subjects and cirrula that are taught.

 In 1878, W. Nielson Hancock saw a role for compulsory education in reducing the levels of crime in the country.  Nowadays I’m not sure what the philosphy of those guiding the Irish system is.  It seems that they strongly link education with economic productivity.  Often I see them viewing the primary role of education system as serving the business interests of the country.  The funding for various initiatives and subjects offered at second level seems to depend on whether they are closely aligned with the economic interests of the country.  The educational system is viewed as a vocational training ground.  Much of the credit for the recent upturn in the Irish economy has been traced back to the free second level education and travel brought in by Donough O’Malley in 1968.  The link between education and economic productivity however is weak.  Ironically though the creative, entropronarial and learning skills required by those in businesses are neglected. 

Perhaps one purpose, or a goal of education, should be to educate children to be custodians of the planet and global citizens.  We should understand that memorising a body of facts in today’s connected world is not useful.  Students should understand that our fate is closely linked to all others. In this context squabbles with neighbours or racist tendencies are self-evidently defeating.

I dunno, what is the purpose of education?

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Posted on 13-07-2007
Filed Under (Miscellaneous) by gashed

Okay, my current favourite.

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