THE EHIME University Museum in Matsuyama has one of the largest collections of insect specimens of any university in Japan, boasting more than 1.2 million beetles, bees, butterflies and other insects from around the world. This is one of the finest collections held by a university established under the post-war education system. Every summer it holds an insect exhibition that mesmerises insect-loving boys and girls. Large and small butterflies spread their colourful wings in German-style specimen boxes as if they were alive, while stink bugs smaller than grains of rice are lined up in neat rows by type. The boxes are stacked on the shelves in a specimen room filled with the acrid smell of chemicals. According to Hiroyuki Yoshitomi, 46, an associate professor of the Entomological Laboratory at Ehime University’s Faculty of Agriculture, 70 per cent of the insects in about 4,300 specimen boxes at the museum belong to the coleopterous family. The museum has an especially … [Read more...] about Bugs on their minds
THE furore over the Malaysian University English Test (MUET) from both the National Union of the Teaching Profession and teachers is cause for concern. I would say the Education Ministry is sincere in its effort to address the issue of English teachers’ competency level. However, there are too many flaws or shortcomings in this noble effort. First, why MUET? Why not APTIS (an English test administered by British Council) which was used to a degree of success some years back to weed out teachers who did not have the desired competency. There were issues no doubt on how it was administered and attempts to manipulate the results by some officers at the district and state education departments, but on the whole it was a comprehensive three- hour international English test covering the four vital components of English language learning. MUET, on the other hand, is a locally-constructed test. Although, this may not be a problem, the marking of the paper and how the speaking and … [Read more...] about An insult to test competent English teachers
I am distraught as I see the results of the senatorial elections. How can we, as a nation, choose ________, _______, _______ (fill in the blanks) over qualified candidates who understand law crafting, a job that’s highly cerebral and requires high moral integrity? I cannot seem to make sense out of this. Even if I immerse myself in the use of the principles of Behavioral Economics (fusion of traditional Economics and Psychology) and know that we use our limbic brain first, then rationalize later with our pre-frontal cortex, things still don’t add up. Then I remember this article written a couple of years ago that facts don’t change people’s minds. (Click link) The human mind is just way too stubborn that even hard cold facts won’t change what it believes. Remember confirmation bias that I’ve discussed in previous articles and FQwentuhans? It is a cognitive impartiality that favors information that confirms with our previously existing beliefs. … [Read more...] about Indeed: Facts don’t change people’s minds!
By Bill Graveland The Canadian Press Sun., April 28, 2019 TABER, ALTA.—It was a snowy, spring day on April 28, 1999, when an angry teenager walked through the doors of W.R. Myers High School. Wearing a blue trench coat, the 14-year-old pulled out a sawed off .22-calibre rifle and fired four shots in the hallway of the public school in Taber, a small agricultural community in the heart of Alberta’s southern Bible Belt. One bullet struck Jason Lang, a 17-year-old Grade 11 student. His friend Shane Christmas, also 17, was blasted in the stomach. Lang died. Christmas survived. Article Continued Below “It still affects me 20 years later,” says Christmas. “It affects every aspect of my adult life.” Christmas, who now lives in nearby Lethbridge, says in a brief online message that he has since forgiven the gunman, who was arrested by an unarmed school resource officer that day. Court later heard the teen was the victim of bullying. … [Read more...] about ‘Total blackness,’ Remembering Alberta school shooting 20 years later
The night of the elementary school talent show, we came home to celebrate with ice cream when my mother took out her iPhone to show a video she’d taken of my 10-year-old daughter’s performance. My daughter had played Ed Sheeran’s Perfect on the piano by ear and sung along. Despite her nerves, she got out there in the middle of the stage in a new dress with scattered sequins and sang her best, bowing to an audience of clapping parents before she walked offstage — an expression of relief and pride on her face.When I saw my mother’s finger hovering over “play” on her phone, my daughter leaning over her shoulder, I stopped her: “You know what... Let’s just let her enjoy the moment.”I’ve seen the way my daughter’s facial expression changes, her eyes squint slightly, and her neck pulls her head back just a little when she watches videos of herself. I knew that in my daughter’s mind she’d felt like a rock star … [Read more...] about Is the immediate playback of events changing how children create memories?