What’s The Capital Of The United States Again?

world-map

So this is what the state of education in the United States has come to.


We were having dinner last night with another couple. 


They asked my daughter, “Do they still teach geography in school? They don’t teach that anymore do they?”


My daughter said, “Yeah, we learned a lot of geography” and gave some good examples both modern and ancient. 


So the guy says, “Well I don’t think a lot of other schools are teaching geography anymore, like they used to with us.”


Then he tells us a story how someone they know was asked what the capital of China was.


And he goes to me, “You know, you know [he emphasizes again], what the guy said?”


I looked at him a little puzzled by this question, like what could someone possibly answer to such a simple question, so I said, “Well I hope they said Beijing.”


He nods his head back and forth no, eyes closed, lips pursed, like we won’t believe what he was about to say.


Then, he says, “The guy said that the capital of China is…JAPAN!”


I looked at him my eyes squinting in disbelief, like that can’t be a for real answer, right?


“No,” he says, “That was what this guy thought, can you believe it?”


I said sort of laughing out loud, “Well maybe if World War II had ended differently that would be correct.”


It sort of reminds me of the famous goof when Clinton gave the Russians the now famous “Reset Button.”


It was supposed to indicate a thawing and renewal of peaceful relations, only the word printed on the button was “Peregruzka” meaning a more hostile “Overcharge.”


Oops! 


Maybe the overcharge referred to was prophetic of the West’s losing the strategic Crimea to the Russian blitzkrieg in 2014. How much did that mistake cost us?


I guess it’s not only STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) suffering in our educational system. 


How’s that standards based education reform “No Child Left Behind” (2001) working out? 


It definitely seems like some folks are most definitely being left behind if not completely lost in the system.


At this rate, I fear the capital of the United States is now Iran. 😉

Personal Bulletproof Shielfs


In light of the horrible school shootings we have witnessed in Sandy Hook Elementary School, Virginia Tech, Columbine High School, and more, people and companies are trying to figure out how to fight back. 


In some cases, ex-Marines have decided to stand guard at their children’s schools.


In others, companies are coming up with emergency protective devices as a last line of defense for teachers and school children. 


Hardwire Armor Systems has developed a white board that doubles as a bulletproof shield. 


According to USA Today (22 January 2013), the whiteboards are 18″ by 20″, a quarter inch thick, and 3.75 lbs. and have three rubberized handles on the back for slipping your arm through.


The shield is large enough to cover the head and torso, is 2 1/2 times as strong as Kevlar, and “can stop a bullet from a handgun shot at point-blank range.” 


The whiteboards are made of a similar ultra-strong polyethylene material used in Mine Resistant Ambush Protective (MRAP) vehicles in Iraq and Afghanistan, and they are light enough and less dense than water and will actually float. 


While we hope our teachers and children never need these to hold off an attacker until first responders arrive, it is good to know that they are there just in case to stop that deadly oncoming bullet. 


The whiteboard costs $299 and a smaller 10″ by 13″ bulletproof clipboard costs $109.To outfit a standard high school with whiteboards would cost $15,000 and for all 7 million teachers and administrators in America $1.8 billion. 


From teaching math and science to protecting our children and teachers, these ballistic shields can be part of a multi-layered defense plan for our schools–and I would think for corporate America, religious institutions, and government agencies as well–and is an awesome idea. 😉

Children, Our Future

Children_are_the_future

20 children dead today in school shooting. 

Completely unacceptable!

We need better psychiatric screening, more treatment options, and safer schools.

How can we expect children to excel, when they can’t even feel safe. 

Safeguard our children, protect our future.

(Source Photo: here with attribution to Massimo Valiani, Source Quote: ABC News article comment by Quinn, and Mashup by Andy Blumenthal)