I Could Be Wrong

Randy Newman has release a new collection of his songs, the first in almost a decade, and it is wonderful. The first “album” I’ve bought in many years.

He recently performed four of the tracks for NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert and it’s a great showcase of Newman’s talent as both a song writer and performer.

Although the song “Putin” is the one that seems to be getting lots of attention, my favorite, both in this performance and the album, is “It’s a Jungle Out There”. Newman has taken his fun, character-appropriate theme from the TV show “Monk” and turned it into an also fun but very satirical reflection on the paranoia (possibly justified) of modern life.

I could be wrong now… but I don’t think so.

The Funny Side of Standardized Testing

In 18 minutes, John Oliver completely tears apart the culture of standardized testing now sucking up far too much instructional time and student attention in our schools. I think he spends more time discussing Pearson’s malpractice than all the news channels combined did in the past year.

There’s not much more you can say.

Word Play

In the world of politics, “liberal” is generally considered the opposite of “conservative”.

Liberals often refer to themselves as “progressives” and the dictionary says “open-minded” is a synonym for liberal.

So, does that mean the opposite of those terms, “regressive” and “close-minded” would be synonyms for conservative? 

Sorry. Just some thoughts that keep jumping into my head as I consume the news.

Of course, as someone who majored in math, not English, I could have my etymology all screwed up.

Maybe the conclusion of my syllogism only applies to severe conservatives.

Revealing the Science Conspiracy

In a well-written and very funny six minutes, Daily Show correspondent Aasif Mandvi demonstrates why the best efforts of science educators are being undermined by adult stupidity.

Why does any thinking person listen to that woman? Oh, yeah, I forgot. She’s on Fox “news”, where science is whatever the script writers say it is.

Greedy Teachers and Diane Ravitch

Jon Stewart does another great job of putting the greedy demands of teachers in context compared to those poor, abused hedge fund managers.

Of course, those talking heads whose clueless pronouncements were used in the piece are only listening to themselves, and on occasion, to each other.

Stewart’s guest on the same program was Diane Ravitch.

This is a voice that needs to be heard frequently on those channels claiming to present news and information, not just for eight minutes on a half-hour news satire show.