Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Bonus Humor

Some smart folks over at Vanderbilt University finally sat down and did some analysis on teachers.

The topic here....if you gave a teacher a bonus, would that help raise student's test scores? This took Vanderbilt three years to gather data and finally come to a conclusion...and basically, the answer is that bonuses do nothing to help the test scores.

They used Nashville as the site of data collected.

I'm going to guess that folks will be shocked and amazed over with the teacher union crowd. They had said all along...if you'd just toss in another $5k or $10k....teachers would suddenly wake up and really do better in the classroom. It's kinda like offering beer to a college student to do better with his grades...and you assume it'll work in the end.

Some advice here from a humble Bama guy. Instead of offering bonus money to make more students raise their grades....offer termination if they can't improve their student's grades in twelve months, and make it simple to start with by five percent improvement.

I suspect that if you had this simple logic of do your job or find a new job...like the rest of us...then you'd find methods to improve student's grades (or you'd lessen the test matter).

Why The New Season of TV Sucks

I watched the new Hawaii 5-0 and The Event last night. By the end...I felt issues.

This new Hawaii 5-0 is peppy and modern. Danno has emotions. The boss is likable. The Korean guy from Lost kicks ass. The Borg-gal from Battlestar Galacticia is hot.

The story moved along and the bad guys either got arrested or killed by the end.

I have my doubts that I'll go back and watch the new Hawaii 5-0. For some reason...I liked the old series. This is like taking Miami Vice and reinventing it with two lesbian chicks from the Bronx who moved to Maimi. Or taking Barnaby Jones and putting it back on with some washed-up star like Burt Reynolds. It just doesn't work.

As for The Event? It's supposed to be "24" and Lost combined. At the end...I felt like I needed to time a shot of Jacky D's about every six minutes to make The Event understandable.

They are taking a storyline spread out over a year....and splicing it up into twenty-odd scenes per show, and shown in a totally random fashion. You get a shot of something from twelve months ago, then six minutes of something from yesterday, then a two-minute piece from nine months ago, and then back to an event that lasted five minutes which occurred today.

Imagine an entire season of 26 shows...with twenty scenes per show...with five years of this spread out. There's no way that you'd ever grasp the significance or absorb enough of this...to make any sense.

So I've decided to drop The Event...and watch Ice Road Truckers or Swamp People on the History Channel instead.

A Bedtime Story

Across the spectrum of jobs in America....I consider the profession of economist to be the most confusing and likely the most over-rated job in America. I've often wondered how a kid could finish university and even find a legit job in his study area of economics.

Yesterday...a group of economists released their opinion. They had determined that the US recession had ended in June of 2009 and thus ended a 18-month longer recession....longest since WW II.

I paused over this...kinda grinning. The real estate market in Arizona, California, and Florida is still fairly flat. There's more banks this year which have failed than in all of last year (note: we still have three months to go). We had folks telling last week that one in seven Americans are in a state of poverty.

I'm not an economist, and I admit most of my vast knowledge on business is due to the Wall Street Journal...but I suspect these guys who say it ended in June of last year can only be right if recession number two has started up. Otherwise, I have my doubts about their analysis.

The curious thing is that historically....at least before the 1930s...recessions occurred about every ten years and last twelve to eighteen months. The US government policy was typically to do nothing, and you'd emerge.

For the recession to have ended in June of last year....means most of what Bush did in his final twelve months...must have worked. I can say that because our 5-star stimulus package hadn't even hit the streets by May of 2009...and most of what the 4-star deal for Chrysler and GM hadn't really had a chance to take-off. This analysis of mine might be up for debate...but its about as good as what these economists say.

So you can go home tonight...open up a Pabst and sit on the patio wondering what makes things different now from June of last year. Then you might open a second Pabst...a third Pabst, and eventually drink up the whole six pack...before giving up and going to bed. Words of an economist will just put you to sleep...sooner or later.

Another Day in Paradise

Living in the DC area....there's always a bit of humor that makes your day. Apparently, over the weekend....the President was scheduled to show up at some dinner and give a speech. Some local gals from Maryland got tickets and drove down to this evening event.

The ladies drove up in a 1993 Lexus and parked within 400 feet of the building where the speech was to be given. They asked the cop standing there if it was ok, and he said "sure".

They attended the whole dinner, and came back out....and their car wasn't there.

So they asked the cops. The cops admitted that they had moved dozens of vehicles for security reasons. But this tag didn't show up on their list.

The ladies got fearful at this point.....their car had been stolen.

Back and forth this went....late at night.

Finally, they went over to some hotel and checked in....$175 roughly for the hotel. The cops promised to keep looking.

By the next day....redressing in their evening attire because they had no suitcases or such.....they met the cops once again. Nothing.

So they called one of their husbands, and he came.....and they were just going to drive around for a while and just head back home.

About 800 feet away from the place they parked.....here was the car. The cops never noted it or the idiot tow truck driver who moved it.

The ladies jumped in the car and were preparing to drive home. One lady asked the other if they should tell the cops....and the upset lady said no.....let them just keep looking.

You have to laugh about episodes like this. It's another reason why you should use METRO and avoid driving anywhere around the capital area.