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Showing posts from March, 2012

Misuse of IQ Tests

While Dr. Alfred Binet conducted his research, he stressed the limitations on IQ testing.  Dr. Binet believed that intelligence was not fixed, but malleable, able to change with environmental variables.  He also believed that testing needed to be created for and conducted on children from a similar background to get accurate results.  But even then, his tests only showed one aspect of intelligence, and did not represent a full view of a child's intelligence or abilities.

Unfortunately, not everyone listened to Dr. Binet.  Three groups in particular stand out in this regard:  the U.S. Army, Ellis Island officials, and the Eugenics Record Office.

At the onset of World War I, the U.S. Army faced the colossal task of placing scores of recruits in various positions.  In 1917, psychologist Robert Yerkes chaired the Committee on the Psychological Examination of Recruits, where he and fellow committee members created two different IQ tests for recruits:
Alpha test:  to test recruits who c…

Wordless Wednesday - Statue of LIberty

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The Greater Evil Behind Trayvon Martin's Death

Raise your hand if you have ever watched a B-grade movie where the villain turns out to be a pawn.  At the very end of the movie, sometimes even after the credits roll, a silhouette of a man appears, sometimes smoking a cigar, remarking that the loss of the villain is only a minor setback; the plan still thrives and continues.

That's how I feel about the shooting of Trayvon Martin.  George Zimmerman is the movie villain, but he is in the end the lesser evil of the situation.  The Greater Evil is more ominous, more hideous, hiding behind shadows, using talking heads to disseminate diversions to the public in order to cover up its true nature.  And the Greater Evil is working overtime at the moment.

First, it tried to use the Stand Your Ground law to exonerate Zimmerman, but public outcry at the fact that Zimmerman instigated any confrontation soon made that untenable.  Then it tried to use self-defense, but again that particular tactic does not seem to have a mollifying effect.  S…

Children and Multiple Intelligences, Part 2

Before we proceed to comparing the theories of multiple intelligences to the standard IQ tests, I believe a little history lesson is in order.

The modern intelligent quotient (IQ) test began in the early 1900s.  France passed a law requiring school for all children during this time, but the French officials worried about how much money to put into the system.  Specifically, they worried about slow learners.  This is where Dr. Alfred Binet and his team enter the picture.  Dr. Binet agreed to help the French government.  To get around the problem of testing pre-literate children, Dr. Binet used three criteria for his tests:
Attention spanProblem Solving SkillsMemory Soon, Dr. Binet and his team noticed that while the majority of children performed the tasks within one standard deviation, some children performed the tasks on par with children either significantly older or younger.  They created a formula to describe this phenomena:

Mental Age of Child _______________ Real Age of Child
No…

Wordless Wednesday - Happy Wednesday!!!

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Petition to Restart LFTR Research in the Government

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I don't usually do this, but I am asking you, my readers, to please read and, if you agree, sign the petition to the White House about resuming research into the LFTR  (pronounced "lifter") project.

LFTR stands for Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor, a different type of nuclear reactor first studied in the 1950s and 1960s.  Basically, liquid fluoride thorium reactors:

work at extremely high temperatures (815 degrees Celsius or 1500 degrees Fahrenheit),work at regular pressure, and cool down with the surrounding air.
In contrast, our current nuclear reactors (mostly LWR - Light Water Reactor):

work at high temperatures (around 300 degrees Celsius, or 572 degrees Fahrenheit),work at high pressures, andneed a water-based cooling system to cool down.
LWRs need to be large enough to justify the expenses of the water cooling systems, and the high pressure containment systems.  This translate to a definite m…

Wordless Wednesday - Legoland Knight

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My Thoughts on Rush and His Rants

Yes, I know that everyone and their Uncle Tom are talking about Rush Limbaugh and his incredibly messed up rants about Sandra Fluke.  But I want to point out a few things:

Amazingly, another wing nut listened to Sandra Fluke's testimony and made the crazy leap from "contraceptives are fundamental to my life" to "she wants to get paid for sex." Rush simply picked up that phrase and ran with it.The terms "slut" and "prostitute" were actually not the worst thing that Rush said.  How scary is that!!!  If you listen to his entire rants on this subject (not something I'd suggest on an empty stomach), you realize that every word out of his mouth disrespects Ms. Fluke and women in general, whom he refers to as "Femi-Nazis".American tax dollars do not pay for private health insurance.Americans do pay for people to have sex - it's called maternity leave and paternity leave.Rush, a supposed voice for the conservatives, strongly sugges…