Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for September 12th, 2011

Signs of hope: Texas State School Board’s influence curbed

leave a comment »

At long last schools will no longer be held hostage to the strange restrictions imposed on instructional materials (history and science, mainly) that are intended to provide factual information, something that some school board members (and often a majority) did not want.

Here’s the story by Mary Tuma in the Washington Independent:

The State Board of Education’s power to dictate which instructional materials Texasclassrooms use is weakened as a largely unforeseen consequence of a law passed this summer.

Senate Bill 6 by state Sen. Florence Shapiro (R-Plano) allows school districts to buy textbooks and instructional materials with state dollars, even if the board has not signed off on those materials. Traditionally, districts could only use SBOE-approved texts, but the new legislation widens the scope of available material for subjects like science and history — areas where the board’s selections have garnered criticism for factual flaws and conservative bias.

“This law means local school districts will no longer be held hostage to the personal agendas of state board politicians when choosing instructional materials for their students,” Texas Freedom Network President Kathy Miller said in a statement.

TFN, a watchdog organization that closely monitors the education board, celebrated the new law as an opportunity to reject controversial materials adopted by the SBOE, noting the long history of heated Texas textbook battles including efforts to censor information on sex education, evolution, slavery and civil rights. In 2001, the group points out, the SBOE declined a potential environmental science textbook because some board members objected to information on ties between climate change and industrial pollution. . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

12 September 2011 at 5:12 pm

Another knife sharpener, much cheaper

with 4 comments

And it’s a Cool Tool. I have one on order. I haven’t had a good knife sharpener on hand since I threw the Chef’s Choice electric in the trash: it sharpens for a while, then it switches to dullens and stays there until you send it in for $60 service; repeat until you throw it in the trash. I caught on after the initial failure. And that’s corporate America: make a knife sharpener that will (without notice or warning) dull the knives until the customer gives us more money.

I do like the Apex a lot, but this one looks more reasonable. And it’s worth a shot. It’ll be better than the Chef’s Choice. (Full disclosure: the Chef’s Choice electric kettle, in contrast, is rather nice. So far.)

Written by LeisureGuy

12 September 2011 at 4:19 pm

Posted in Business, Daily life

Two books I just finished

leave a comment »

Makers, by Cory Doctorow, I didn’t like so much, though I’m sure many will. For me, it failed to deliver on its promise. Ready Player One, by Ernet Cline, I thoroughly enjoyed. Both are sf and both deal with the entertainment industry, though different facets of it.

Written by LeisureGuy

12 September 2011 at 3:07 pm

Posted in Books, Science fiction

Morris & Forndran and Mocha Java

with 2 comments

The Morris & Forndran does a terrific job—great brush. I worked up a wonderful lather from QED’s Mocha Java shave stick: wonderful fragrance and wonderfully dense and thick lather. Since this is the glycerin-soap week, I will be focusing on the melt-and-pour soups.

Three smooth passes with the Merkur vintage Slant with a Schick Plus Platinum blade, then a splash of Saint Charles Shave’s Neroli Blend aftershave, and I’m off to a fine start.

Written by LeisureGuy

12 September 2011 at 8:48 am

Posted in Shaving

%d bloggers like this: