Sunday, March 20, 2011

Random Thoughts

I've been very busy since school has started again, but last night was very restful and I have enough energy to put semi coherent thoughts down again.

*There was a horrifying earthquake and tsunami this week in Japan. Adding to the already heartbreaking tragedy has been an out of control nuclear fiasco at the Fukushima nuclear power plant.
Japan gets a lot of credit for being a very smart country, but I have to take exception. How smart is it to build nuclear power plant in one of the most earthquake prone countries in the world? On top of that, they build it at sea level. What could possibly go wrong, right? Weren't they thinking about tsunamis? I read The Big Wave when I was a kid. It's about a tsunami that wipes out a village in (you guessed it) Japan! The word "tsunami" which we all use now instead of "tidal wave" is a Japanese word that has become a part of the world vocabulary because it happens a lot, and Japan is famous for them!

*The US has joined NATO in bombing Libya's loony leader in order to thwart him in his effort to maintain power in his oil sodden patch of desert. We are supporting the rabble whose membership is unknown to us but are reported to include anti American elements. We already have two wars going on, and we are laying off teachers, police and firefighters, but hey, Hat Trick!
Meanwhile in Bahrain, pro democracy protesters are being gunned down but it's OK because Bahrain is our ally.

*When I help our 12 year old with his English homework I am struck by how strangely they try to teach English here. There appears to be a deliberate effort to make it a lot more difficult than it should be. There are multiple choice grammar questions involving seldom used phrases that Will Shortz would happily include in the puzzle page of the New York Times. They also make it extra interesting by occasionally making none of the answers correct, so that you have to rely on your psychic powers to divine the intention of the scholar who was responsible for this brain buster. Meanwhile, no effort is made to actually teach the kids to speak English. Instead they are preparing them to take tests which consist of hundreds of questions just like these. Meanwhile I have sophomores in the top high school in the region who are challenged putting a three word sentence together. Job security for me!!

*When you think of the Cheap Chinese Crap that Wal Mart sells in the US, remember that the Cheap Chinese Crap that discount stores sell here is crappier. In fact, the stuff at Wal Mart here looks pretty good!

*I hope they don't use Cheap Chinese Crap when they build their nuclear power plants and high speed trains!

*iPods are made in China.

1 comment:

  1. didn't we build el diablo at sea level? and that plant in Eureka, which will melt down when the oregon coast breaks open next fall...


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