The SAT has a cheating problem in Asia

Aaron Freeman:

Well I guess the Chinese and South Koreans aren’t born great at EVERY aspect of business. If you can’t cheat successfully, at least when it counts, how can you expect to have a career?

Originally posted on Quartz:

Responding to allegations of cheating based on “specific, reliable information,” ETS, the company that administers the SAT college admissions exam, will delay scores for all students living in South Korea and China who took the test on Oct 11.

The company referred (paywall) to “organizations that seek to illegally obtain test materials for their own profit, to the ultimate detriment of all students,” indicating that answers might have been found in advance and shared with students before the test.

That the scores are being withheld based on where students live instead of where they took the test supports that interpretation. Students in China have to travel to take the test because it is only administered at a few private schools there.

The company expects to have the scores out by mid-November, in time to apply early to schools. Students will have a very short amount of time to let their score help them to…

View original 257 more words

This map shows the weird names Americans have given the night before Halloween

Originally posted on Quartz:

I grew up in Michigan, so I assumed all of the US—nay, the entire English-speaking world—referred to the night before Halloween as “devil’s night.”

Turns out I was living in a geographic bubble.

Using thousands of responses collected by the Cambridge Online Survey of World Englishes, Quartz has mapped the geographic breakdown of the names Americans have for All Hallows’ Eve Eve.

The concentration of pink in Michigan shows just how limited my worldview was growing up. “Devil’s night” barely makes its way across my home state’s borders. “Mischief night” has a similar concentration on the East coast, centered around Philadelphia. The only other names with a significant number of responses are “devil’s eve” and, of all things, “cabbage night”.

The survey responses on this map have been collected since 2007, up until the present. The question was posed earlier, though, in 2003, as part of the Harvard Dialect Survey. At that time a few more responses were commonly given, like “trick…

View original 55 more words

Said the blade of grass to the autumn leaf Khalil GIbran

Said a blade of grass to an autumn leaf, “You make such a noise falling! You scatter all my winter dreams.”

Said the leaf indignant, “Low-born and low-dwelling! Songless, peevish thing! You live not in the upper air and you cannot tell the sound of singing.”

Then the autumn leaf lay down upon the earth and slept. And when spring came she waked again — and she was a blade of grass.

And when it was autumn and her winter sleep was upon her, and above her through all the air the leaves were falling, she muttered to herself, “O these autumn leaves! They make such a noise! They scatter all my winter dreams.”

New video shows US police shot black man 45 times like ‘firing squad’

49 year-old Milton Hall was shot 45 times in 6 seconds by police in Saginaw, Michigan. He did have a pen knife so I guess the 8 officers felt threatened.  I keep telling myself I don’t want to see this kind of stuff.  My personal world is, so far as I can tell, exceedingly post-racial.  I live a luxurious life that oozes blessings.  The kinds of things that happen to “those other” black people are almost impossible for me to imagine true. Then I see stuff like this.  Incidents like this are obviously rare.  But they so upset me that I rush to blog about them.  “If it bleeds it leads me to post.”  I guess I don’t REALLY want my head in the sand… but it’s such nice, warm,  soft sand…

PressTV – Saudi Arabia responsible for stopping Takfiri thought: Hezbollah

The Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah has called on Saudi Arabia to stop the spread of Takfiri ideology in the Middle East.

“Saudi Arabia bares primary responsibility for preventing the spread of this ideology,” Hezbollah Secretary General Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah said during a speech at a ceremony on the occasion of Muharram at Sayyed al-Shuhadaa complex in the southern suburb of the Lebanese capital, Beirut, on Monday, Lebanese media reported.

Nasrallah further said terror activities by the Takfiris are rooted in a “Wahhabist mentality,” warning that the terrorists are misrepresenting the nature of Islam.

“What is happening today is the biggest distortion of Islam in history,” he stressed, adding that Takfiri terrorism poses “a threat to Islam as a religion [as well as] its principles and values.”

He further noted that the crimes perpetrated by the terrorists are unprecedented in history, saying, “This pushes non-Muslims away from Islam, because the (Takfiri) method presents Muslims as a savage and bloodthirsty grou

Godless millennials could end the political power of the religious right – Adam Lee

he 2014 midterm elections are drawing near, and it appears that the Democrats may well lose the Senate, since they’re fighting on unfriendly territory – a large number of seats in red states are up for grabs.

But if you look deeper than the national picture, there’s a more interesting story. In southern states like Georgia and Kentucky – which in the past would have been easy Republican holds – the races are unexpectedly tight. In fact, the only reason that the questions of which party will control the Senate in 2015 is unsettled at all is that an unusual number of races in dark red states are toss-ups, despite an overall political climate that generally favors conservatives.

What we’re seeing may well be the first distant rumblings of a trend that’s been quietly gathering momentum for years: America is becoming less Christian. In every region of the country, in every Christian denomination, membership is either stagnant or declining. Meanwhile, the number of religiously unaffiliated people – atheists, agnostics, those who are indifferent to religion, or those who follow no conventional faith – is growing. In some surprising places, these “nones” (as in “none of the above”) now rank among the largest slices of the demographic pie. –