I just attended an interesting presentation from the good folks at Apple on the use of technology in higher education. It was all very interesting. I learned about some great apps that are available and about how Apple may provide the answers to our questions about what the future of higher ed. will be.
The presenters were at some pains to present those of us who don’t tolerate personal technology in the classroom as stuffy and overly restrictive.
I’m not sure what they said after that because they handed out the hardware for us to use in following their lecture and I was busy messing with a bubble wrap app. The philosophy professor sitting next to me was having fun with an app that used gestures to cause an animated robot to make noises . . .
I pay a lot of attention to the ways people speak because words have always fascinated me. I continue to remember the day, nearly 20 years ago, when my father watched undergrads walking from downtown Athens onto the UGA campus and remarked, “There go the students entering into the portals of the university.” The turn of phrase has a certain sublimity. Not bad for a chemical engineer.
And just as some phrases are wonderful, some are less felicitous. I have noted the recent proliferation of people talking about “hand-carrying” things. For example, a gentleman on a radio commercial talked about how he had helped someone when he “hand-carried” the forms they filled out to the proper office.
I am waiting to see whether this way of speaking will catch on. Will we begin to hear about the time someone “mouth-drank” a bottle of water, “foot-walked” through the neighborhood, or “ear-listened” to a piece of music?
Impossible, you say? I thought the same thing a couple of decades back when I saw a couple of young guys wearing their pants about eight inches south of their waistlines.
Well, we’ve had our discussions about budgets as moral documents and now have reached a budget deal that went right up to the brink of a government shutdown.
To those friends of mine who are also Christians, but identify more with the left than the right, I have a question for you: Just exactly what hill was it the Democrats decided they wanted to die on in this battle? Where did they draw the line and say, “This far and no further!”
It turns out their one adamantine point of no compromise was . . . funding Planned Parenthood. Wow, that’s a real Mr. Smith Goes to Washington moment. Gets you right in the old ticker.
I suspect Jim Wallis and Tony Campolo are feeling a little uncomfortable as they review the bidding.
Not that this should come as a surprise. How many Democrat figures have been down this path and learned that they have to make a choice? Ted Kennedy was pro-life and was forced by his party’s realities to change. Jesse Jackson was pro-life. Same result. Ditto for one Albert Gore.
There is one orthodoxy in the party of the left that will not brook disagreement. Bob Casey the elder knew it. And Ramesh Ponnuru wrote a book about it.
While visiting my grandmother’s home for her 95th birthday a little evening television surfing brought us to House Hunters International. We observed with fascination as a couple living in New Orleans worked toward their move to the French countryside.
The husband was a professional trumpeter apparently making money on the side as a carpenter. The wife was identified as a dancer of some sort. While we heard the husband pop out a few bars of When the Saints Come Marchin’ In on a couple of occasions, the wife did not provide any sort of evidence of her spinning and twirling chops. They had a young son and seemed to have a friendly community of pals in the Big Easy.
During the episode, we discovered that the wife was French and that was part of the motivation for making the move to France, but the big draw, enthusiastically embraced by the husband, was that “Everything is free there!” He went on to mention health care as an example.
The first thing that comes to mind is that this young fellow needs an immediate short course in Robert Heinlein’s TANSTAAFL (There Ain’t No Such Thing as a Free Lunch). Someone is paying, my friend. Now, maybe it’s a rich guy. I don’t know. Does the rich guy owe this couple free healthcare? Or then again, maybe they will pay for it after all. Maybe they’ll pay in taxes. Maybe they’ll pay in other ways than money. Maybe they’ll pay with things like time and DMV-style inconvenience.
The second thing that occurs to me is that policymakers in France can’t be very happy with developments like this. A young couple with no certain way to make a living is moving to their country to take advantage of “free” things like healthcare. THAT’S GREAT NEWS!
The word “sustainability” applies to things other than the environment. :-)
I recently had a discussion with a scientist who told me she managed to teach her smartest rats to count to 30.
I vowed that I am done eating rats. :-)