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Peter Sheil

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News from the BBC [Aug. 14th, 2003|10:25 am]
Peter Sheil
* Creatine 'boosts brain power' *
The dietary supplement creatine - known to improve athletic performance - can
also boost memory and intelligence, researchers say.
Full story:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/em/-/1/hi/health/3145223.stm
Now where did I put my bottle of memory enhancing tablets? It must be somewhere around here.

* Twelve-year-old boy passes A-level *
A computer whizzkid who does not go to school is thought to be the youngest
person this year to gain an A-level
Full story:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/em/-/1/hi/education/3149789.stm
I'm never completely sure if home schooling is good. I know some on my friends list do so, and I respect that chioce, but I do wonder if the potential improvement in academic standards outweighs the potential lack of social contact with other children. Anyone want to comment on that?

Peace
peter
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: chorus_of_chaos
2003-08-14 06:11 am (UTC)
I don't know about there in Europe, but here in the states kids learn so many "social graces" that I don't WANT my kids having (i.e. bullying or being bullied, bigotry, racial hatred, "sports above academics" attitude, etc.) that I really see very little benefit in public schooling at all, and private schooling is out because it's all religion based and I won't have my kid (if I ever have one) forcefed someone's elses viewpoint. They will learn about global philosophy and spirituality and make their own informed choices, thank you very much. My kids will learn to think, not be spoon fed only what the government wants them to know.

I saw one of the new history books the other day. Did you know the U.S. has ALWAYS been at war with Iran, Afghanistan and Iraq? (Anyone over 30 can tell you that's bullshit, we were sending them big fat checks in the 80's because they claimed they were all anti-drug, when in truth they were some of the biggest drug pushers there were...but I digress) uh, what about the whole keeping the russians out of afghanistan? That didn't happen according to this book.

The sad part is the vast majority of parents will never know, they are completely uninvolved in what is going on with their kids in school.

yep, you found a sore spot with me. :P
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[User Picture]From: petersheil
2003-08-14 06:26 am (UTC)
I thought I'd get a response or two from that, thanks for not disappointing me ;)

Yep, I agree that a lot of the "social graces" learnt at school are (potentially at least) negative ... but ... how do you teach kids to interact socially with others? A number of very bright kids have turned into complete social outcasts because they just couldn't interact with others.

Also we are not in a perfect world, so we all ned to be able to detect the scams, decide who to trust and protect ourselves from others who would steal from us or hurt us (physically or emotionally). how do you give kids a reasonable chance in the World? I don't have an answer; I guess just do the best you can and give them personal examples of how to live life is the best wecan do.

Thouhtful
peter
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[User Picture]From: chorus_of_chaos
2003-08-14 06:42 am (UTC)
every school I went to if you were a smart person you were a social outcast anyway.

It is not at all hard to arrange social activities for a chld. 4-H programs (I don't know if you have that there but google and you'll see what it is) camp, play dates, things like a martial arts class or yoga class, most art centers hold children's camps through out the school year that you can easily get a scholarship to pay for, etc...there are many avenues of making sure your child gets social time every week, in a better structured atmosphere than the public school.

The biggest problem is so many families have to be two income to get by, and even then many do not. Which is criminal, IMHO. "If misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, then great is our sin." -Charles Darwin-

As for prepping them for the world, they will run into crap behaviour at some of those other places too, but not on such a wide scale and not as heavily influenced to go along with it, therefor, a teaching opportunity when this shit comes up as to how to handle it. Also, because you can attend any of these things yourself with the child, which you can't do with a school, you give them the opportunity to see how you handle dealing with these issues as well. Yep, live by example.
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[User Picture]From: petersheil
2003-08-15 12:15 am (UTC)
Yep, I agree that bright kids are often excluded by other kids. If you get enough bright ones n a school then it isn't so bad but that implies selection by the schools and that is frowned upon. Personally I'm in favour of selection / streaming so that kids of similar abilities are taught together. I remember when I taught an Introduction to IT evening class we had a board range of abilitilities, from almost geek to those too scared to touch a keyboard, and sometimes I had to move on with a lecture even though the "slower" hadn't understood what I'd been saying.

I've no idea what the 4-H prgrams are - I'll look them up later if I have time.

As for needing two incomes ... hmmm ... I think some of that is us all having too high expectations (I include myself here). What do we actually need in life? I'm sure I could survive on a lot less than I do ... mind you that doesn't mean that I want to do so :) I think America is suffering a lot at the moment - higher unemployment and a lot of utilities coming more in line with what we've been paying for them (gas, electric, water, petrol - although that is far more expensive here still) Particularly after the power problems in California earlier and the northern seaboard yesterday Americans need to reduce their consumption of resources (not personally directed but a general comment).

Peace
peter
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[User Picture]From: chorus_of_chaos
2003-08-15 12:41 am (UTC)
yeah, I agree, Americans are pretty screwed about how they porportion thier income...I know way to many people whose kids don't get the food, clothes or other things they need because daddy has to have his cigerettes...(I sat down and did the math, they would save almost $3500 of thier income if he quit smoking.)

Part of our personal problem is my high medical bills, and then you factor in things like when you add it all up, American's pay as much in tax as Europeans do, it's just done sneakier.

Income tax, "Luxury" tax (since when is gas a luxury when there is no public transportation for the majority of the population?)tax on money won via anything gambling/lottery/contests, the death tax, and property tax, for the love of god, property tax. Property tax in Indianapolis QUADRUPLED with in just one pass of the state government. It was a deciding factor in that we have to declare bankruptcy at this point. We have no other choice, and the government is refusing to allow tax relief to ease people into that transition.

NUMEROUS people are up in arms on that one there right now, as Indiana has the highest unemployment rating in the nation right now because all the companies are pulling out and going to Mexico and it is very much a factory state. Almost all of the corn/soybean fields in southern Indiana are owned by the Japanese. How "WTF?" is that?

Then factor in the uncontrolled rates of all insurance, which is pretty much a requirement here. If you have a mortage, you have to have homeowners, by law. If you have have a car, you have to have auto by law, if you have any health issues at all, you have to pay health insurance, because it is utterly unaffordable otherwise. And yet there are no laws requiring insurance companies charge reasonable rates.

The U.S. taxpayer pays for all medical research, either through thier taxes, or through the cost of medication. Pretty much everywhere else the government puts a cap on how much can be charged for something. What I have to pay $480 for here (with a co pay to a scrip card, whose insurance is $80 a week!) you pay maybe $100 in the course of a year. (this is research I did on the blood pressure meds I take)and yeah, factor in the high unemployment rate and that our government is spending money at an incredibly insane rate...if something doesn't turn around soon we're all screwed.

The incidents of more and more "radical" "private militia" etc type groups is at an all time high, there are places in Montana that the feds will not even go in with the national guard.

What's really bad is we have the tech to turn so much of it around. Electric/hybird cars are cheaper, all the way around in terms of fuel cost, maintenance, etc...but there is active discouragement here for people to buy them. I know someone who was going to buy one, could not get the loan. His wife goes in with the exact same financial information and bids on a gas guzzling SUV that costs MORE, and is approved. Hmmm...makes you wonder.

Many industries will not accept CASH anymore, you MUST use a credit card, therefor incurring high interest rates. You can not rent a car here without a credit card for example.

There are so many other things...that I'm to tired and frustrated to even list right now.

Oh that the world would make me goddess for one week...
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[User Picture]From: petersheil
2003-08-15 01:16 am (UTC)
Many industries will not accept CASH anymore, you MUST use a credit card, therefor incurring high interest rates.

Surely if you pay off the card each month you don't get hit by interest do you?

Oh that the world would make me goddess for one week
*waves wand and it is so*
Go on, change the world :)

[ahh, if only it was that easy]
Peace
peter
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[User Picture]From: goddess_2000
2003-08-14 07:03 am (UTC)

potential lack of social contact with other children

I have been around several ppl through my life who were home schooled. They excelled academically. But, they all lacked the ability to function socially. I cannot say I am for it.
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[User Picture]From: petersheil
2003-08-15 12:25 am (UTC)

Re: potential lack of social contact with other children

I think it can work, but you need to make sure the social side is covered by other activities. I think quite often "home schoolers" form support groups to help eachother with things lke that.
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[User Picture]From: goddess_2000
2003-08-15 11:28 am (UTC)

"home schoolers"

I prefer attendance of a school. Although I would love for Khloe to attend a private school bc the ratio of student to teacher is smaller.
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[User Picture]From: goddess_2000
2003-08-14 11:01 am (UTC)

Attending school is not compulsory but parents, by law, have to ensure their child is being educated

Khloe must never know this when we live there. Stateside you have to attend school until age 16. If you want to be able to drive its 18 (I think).
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[User Picture]From: petersheil
2003-08-15 12:30 am (UTC)

Re: Attending school is not compulsory but parents, by law, have to ensure their child is being educ

I'm not sure that I agree with "Khloe must never know this ...". The whole point is that parents and children together need to make informed choices about this.

I'm surprised at the driving requirement. It seems like it is illegal not to drive in some states :) Or is that just my natural tendency to make fun of Americans coming through?? ;)
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[User Picture]From: chorus_of_chaos
2003-08-15 12:48 am (UTC)

Re: Attending school is not compulsory but parents, by law, have to ensure their child is being educ

MOST cities in the U.S. do not have a public transportation system. In Indy, Everyone lives in the outlying areas, and work is either much further out or downtown. You can only get a bus in a very small area of downtown, basically you park your car at a garage and have to take the bus 20 or 30 blocks to your work. There is no living near where you work for most people, especially with the hire/fire rate going on now, you'd never stop moving. This holds true in most cities with the exception of some of the REALLY big ones (like NYC, LA, Chicago, etc.) Indinapolis is the 10th largest city in the nation, no public transport...and forget riding a bike. 8 months of the year it's unfeasable because of the weather, the rest of the time because of the pollution and the crime. There are NO bike paths along streets (mostly just in parks) traffic is a nightmare and riding on sidewalks is verboten. Taxi's are a small fortune, and carpooling becomes an issue because it's very rare you work with someone who lives near you. The two times I carpooled with someone who worked near to where I worked and lived near where I live, I wound up losing my job because of the other person's lateness, poor driving skills, or simply not showing at all. That however, is pretty much a personal experience, but again, with the fire/hire rate there, you can't afford to those kind of errors.

There is a better public transport HERE, where I am NOW
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[User Picture]From: goddess_2000
2003-08-15 11:26 am (UTC)

The whole point is that parents and children together need to make informed choices about this.

Attendance is complusory here. If she knew she didn't have to attend. Trust me she won't want to.
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