Tuesday, 22 March 2011

The Conclusion of the German Polar Bear

Final conclusion of Knut....the German polar bear who just collapsed dead in the zoo?

Brain disorder.  He was destined from birth apparently.  Curious thing....his mother dumped both him and his brother....refusing to care for either at birth.  The brother quickly died and Knut survived only because a zoo-keeper took up his care.....twenty-four hours a day.  The mother probably knew that both had some brain disorder.

What now?  Folks are now suggesting to stuff him and put him off in the Berlin Natural History Museum.

It's a curious thing....there are only two famous German bears.  Knut obviously.....but folks tend to remember Bruno from 2006....who wandered around Bavaria and eventually had to be shot (officially the last German bear in the wilds).  If you were curious....Bruno was stuffed and put into the Bavarian Natural History Museum.  I know.....because I've toured the place and seen the bear.

From My Neck of the Woods

When you chat about the District of Columbia....typically, it has to do with stuff beyond federal politics.  Typically, there are three District topics you can bring up.....corruption, crime, and schools.

Today, folks started to learn that the magnet school system is pretty screwed up.  Normally, this is where the smartest kids end up.  In the District....because you really don't have that many "talented" kids....you kinda push the envelop and continue getting kids into magnet schools....even when they shouldn't be there.

So the story goes.....the clerks running the grade input with the computer system over at the major technology magnet school (McKinley Technology High School)....which has a 97-percent graduation level....finally admitted that the principal had been hyping up grades.

It's a funny thing. This guy actually came out and said he was a teacher....and would hand in the reports to give kids grades on classes taken. Most folks would scratch their head because principals never....ever....teach a class. This guy was giving various grades away in civics and technology.

An investigation is underway and it appears that this went on for several years. The number involved? No one will ever be able to say accurately.

The curious thing here...is that this guy helped a number of punks who probably shouldn't have been at the magnet school....continue on.....and graduate.  Then with grades and certificate in hand.....they went to local community colleges and universities.  Professors likely stood there....surprised that Junior wasn't that bright on history, civics or technology.....and held the whole class back as the professor tried to teach them.  Somehow....the professors would drag these limited students on....and eventually help them get degrees.  At some point, an employer would be standing there....wondering how this limited and mostly incompetent graduate ever got out of high school....let alone graduate with a 2-year or 4-year degree.

You can see how things work here....just by one idiot principal at the right place.   And the future of this technology magnet school?  I'm guessing the graduation rate will start to decrease.....and eventually drop to around sixty percent.  Folks might wonder why.....but this is the District, and frankly....you got crime and corruption to worry about at the same time.   Just a little prospective.....from my neck of the woods.

The Arlington Cemetery Saga Continues

Over the past year....Arlington Cemetery has met up with a bunch of issues.  They had to fire the chief and the number two....because of incompetence.   This week, we had the newest issue pop up.

Somewhere back about a hundred years ago....the managers of the cemetery got around to allowing reservations.  Now, you'd scratch your head.  This is a military cemetery and you'd think it'd be first-come...first-serve.  But it simply couldn't work that way.

Some folks came up and insisted that they wanted to right to have their wife buried next to them....which military tradition allowed.  Course, that meant that as you buried one....you had to allow a open spot.  Somehow....at least through the 1920s, the 1930s and the 1940s.....this reservation system worked.  The thing is....it was all based on 3x5 cards.

You can imagine a 624-acre cemetery of a vast nature....but the idea that this whole thing was held together by 3x5 cards really taxes your mind.

Up through the 1970s and such....it still kinda continued.  But evidence this week shows that things started to get uncorked in the 1980s and on.....as promises made....simply couldn't be kept.  The number of dead GIs and their spouses....was taking the management staff way beyond what they could handle.  When Uncle Joe finally died and Junior showed up to bury him next to his brother.....the spot was already filled.  Over and over....folks found this to violate the "promise" made that they could be next to each other.

So folks are upset and they've turned this into an Army investigation.  Congressmen will likely get involved.  I can't see how they can right any wrongs here.  You certainly aren't going to dig someone up because he got buried in the wrong place.

As for a promise to reserve spots?  I just can't see Arlington run this way.  If you want to be buried there....it's the honor of the situation....and not some reservation system.