Reality Boats

20 08 2010

I sort of wish Get up would spend their funds putting non-partisan and worthy public education advertisements like this one on TV rather than random Abbott quotes.

(That said, this one was pretty good too)


Today is special

20 07 2009

Today was the first day of classes for my Graduate Diploma.

It only consisted of a lecture and tutorial for our field studies unit – but for some reason QUT has two hour lectures. Not that I am complaining or anything. At least one good thing you can expect from the education faculty is that the lecturers know how to teach.

Today was included some discussion on teaching/learning, as well as what exactly this “Middle Years” thing that I signed up for was actually about. There was also fruitful discussion on creating and developing our personal teaching philosophy – which in addition to our performance on pracs will form a major part of our assessment for this unit. In reflection, perhaps I should work towards obtaining the required texts for classes, they may actually be useful (then again everything does seem to be downloadable from the Blackboard site).

Some statistical information that came out of today included (note: some of these were dated 1998 and 2000*):

  • 1 in 5 school students in Australia are affected by poverty
  • 1 in 4 school students come from a culturally diverse background
  • 83% of school students with a disability attend a regular school
  • 18% of school students have a parent with a disability
  • less than 40% of ATSI (Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander) children finish high school at a year 12 level
  • roughly 30% of pre-service teachers are “career switchers”
  • $21 million is spent on stress leave for Australia’s teachers each year

The last one was perhaps not the most encouraging thing to hear on our first day (but I guess at least it’s not $22 million, and remember these are only Aussie dollars, they quite literally give them away).

Image credit: Exploding dog

*They were also scrawled hurriedly in my notepad so may be less than acccurate

Pandemic in perspective

20 06 2009

Fear of disease vs. death toll
see more Funny Graphs

Pandemic is not a synonym for crisis

1 06 2009

…necessarily. In this case it’s more SNAFU.

I read this weekend’s Sunday Herald during lunch today. There was a double page spread on the growing “Swine Flu Crisis!” (251 Infected!*).

While I’m not sure if this graph is actually based on real figures, it does put the pandemic in perspective:
song chart memes
see more Funny Graphs

The threat of Mexican flu is quite relative. This strain may only turn out as bad as regular flu. But regular flu isn’t something to sniff at. Each year influenza occurs on a pandemic scale, this kills about 250,000 – 500,000 worldwide. So when the health authorities are saying “this is just like seasonal influenza”, they may be quite right to downplay the threat, but there is still a threat – SNAFU.

Was that enough mixed messages?


Hattip for GraphJam: Cheshire

*It’s now over 300, but didn’t reach 800. Either Mexican flu (or the testing labs) took the weekend off, or it’s possibly slowing down.

Babies hate your marriage

26 04 2009

Research from the University of Denver on 218 couples, showed that in 90% of couples, having a baby accelerated deterioration of their marriages.

The researcher “cautions against concluding that children damage overall happiness in life” – but just look at those cold hard statistics.

I think what it most likely shows is that having a baby, or getting married, is not a suitable recourse in a failing relationship.

The research appeared to focus solely on partners relationships with each other, not the relationship between parents and their kids. Perhaps their isn’t enough love to go around.

More trends in the search for health

27 01 2009

Now lets play around a little:

Cures Cancer, Causes cancer


Quack Quack Quack

Head, shoulders, knees and toes (I suspect porn interference on this one)

Are asthma and allergies growing concerns? (Media: Yes; Google: No)

Who cares most about radiation poisoning? (Australia)

Who cares most about anthrax? (Chile) anthrax attacks? (USA and its allies)

Now it all makes sense

8 10 2008

Well with farmyard afficiandos galore, is it no wonder that social networking websites are now overtaking porn for internet usage.

I do wonder though if adult networking sites like Adult FriendFinder, or even less blatantly “adult” matchmaker websites like eHarmony.

I do like this guys rationalization for the trend though:

“My theory is that young users spend so much time on social networks that they don’t have time to look at adult sites.” – Bill Tancer, self-described “data geek”

Kids these days, not even enough time to look up porn these days.

hattip and image credit Social Media + CIA