anonymous asked:

Does it upset you that Scotland will never vote for independence? Most scots are smarter than you and realise you depend on english cash, do you wish Scotland was less poor?

If Scotland’s wealth was measured by imbeciles such as yourself, I would wish Scotland to be the poorest nation in the world.

Educate yourself.


The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s triennial international survey compared test scores from 65 countries. Happiness was ranked based on the percentage of students who agreed or disagreed with the statement “I feel happy at school.” Test scores were ranked based on the combined individual rankings of the students’ math, reading, and science scores.

[My piano teacher] never seemed to judge me for my mistakes.  Instead, he’d try to fix them with me: repeating a three-note phrase, differently each time, trying to get me to unlearn a hand position or habitual movement pattern that was systematically sending my fingers to wrong notes.

I had never thought about wrong notes that way.  I had thought that wrong notes came from being “bad at piano” or “not practicing hard enough,” and if you practiced harder the clinkers would go away.  But that’s a myth.

In fact, wrong notes always have a cause. An immediate physical cause.   Just before you play a wrong note, your fingers were in a position that made that wrong note inevitable. Fixing wrong notes isn’t about “practicing harder” but about trying to unkink those systematically error-causing fingerings and hand motions….

Often, I think mistakes are more like bugs than errors.  My clinkers weren’t random; they were in specific places, because I had sub-optimal fingerings in those places.  A kid who gets arithmetic questions wrong usually isn’t getting them wrong at random; there’s something missing in their understanding, like not getting the difference between multiplication and addition.  Working generically “harder” doesn’t fix bugs (though fixing bugs does require work).

…These days, learning disabilities are far more highly diagnosed than they used to be. And sometimes I hear the complaint about rich parents, “Suddenly if your kid’s getting B’s, you have to believe it’s a learning disability.  Nobody can accept that their kid is just plain mediocre.  Are there no stupid people left?”  And maybe there’s something to the notion that the kid who used to be just “stupid” or “not a great student” is now often labeled “learning disabled.” But I want to complicate that a little bit.

Thing is, I’ve worked with learning disabled kids.  There were kids who had trouble reading, kids who had trouble with math, kids with poor fine motor skills, ADD and autistic kids, you name it.  And these were mostly pretty mild disabilities.  These were the kids who, in decades past, might just have been C students, but whose anxious modern-day parents were sending them to special programs for the learning disabled.

But what we did with them was nothing especially mysterious or medical.  We just focused, carefully and non-judgmentally, on improving their areas of weakness.  The dyslexics got reading practice.  The math-disabled got worksheets and blocks to count.  Hyperactive kids were taught to ask themselves “How’s my motor running today?” and be mindful of their own energy levels and behavior.  The only difference between us and a “regular” school is that when someone was struggling, we tried to figure out why she was struggling and fix the underlying problem, instead of slapping her a bad report card and leaving it at that.

And I have to wonder: is that “special education” or is it just education?

Maybe nobody’s actually stupid.  Maybe the distinction between “He’s got a learning disability” and “He’s just lousy at math” is a false one.  Maybe everybody should think of themselves as having learning disabilities, in the sense that our areas of weakness need to be acknowledged, investigated, paid special attention, and debugged.

-Errors vs. Bugs and the End of Stupidity


119 Palestinian medical students arrive in Venezuela to begin their studies at the Dr. Salvador Allende Latin American Medical School. November 6, 2014. (Read more)

(Photos source)

Today is World Autism Awareness Day, raising public awareness of the condition and ensuring everyone living with autism gets the support they need. Get a better understanding of the condition with a selection of OUPblog articles.

  1. From art to autism: a Q&A with Uta Frith
  2. The new DSM-5: changes in the diagnosis of autism and intellectual disability
  3. Way to be autism aware
  4. ASD is now the approved new diagnostic category for autism
  5. Autism is many diseases
  6. Autism: a Q&A with Uta Frith
  7. Can a child with autism recover?
  8. Is there an epidemic of autism?
  9. Finding and classifying autism for effective intervention

What are you doing for World Autism Awareness Day?

Image credit: Hand writing the word Autism on a chalkboard under colorful puzzle piece drawings. Image by sdominick, iStockphoto.

Why I Like Mindful Education (Spoilers)
  • Stevonnie singing for the 1st time in the show
  • Garnet singing with Stevonnie
  • Garnet is great.
  • Here Comes a Thought is such a beautiful song.
  • Trying to ignore a problem so you wouldn’t feel bad about yourself and not wanting to tell anyone because you’re ashamed, I feel, is a very universal experience. It hit too close to home for me.
  • The message about opening up is a very important one.
  • A lot of times, in more-action-oriented kids cartoons, you end up feeling like the child protagonist might have to have therapy at some point in the future without the show acknowledging they would have issues from dealing with that kind of stuff. This episode tackles both the psychological effects being a Crystal Gem has on Steven & Connie (by extension, Stevonnie) while giving you hope that they’ll make it out okay.
  • More world-building on fusion and it’s effects on the mind under specific circumstances
  • Beautiful animation

An Ancient and Sacred Tradition: ‘Honey Hunters of Nepal’

In 1987, award winning French photographer and director Éric Valli  and his Australian wife Diane Summers (acting as filmmaker) documents Gurung tribesmen of west-central Nepal bi-yearly harvest of wild honey. 

The Gurung tribesmen of Nepal are master honey hunters, risking their lives collecting honeycomb in the foothills of the Himalayas, using nothing more than handmade rope ladders and long sticks known as tangos.  Up to a dozen men are drafted in to support the hunter or ‘kuiche’ [1]

Before a hunt can commence the honey hunters are required to perform a ceremony to placate the cliff gods. This involves sacrificing a sheep, offering flowers, fruits and rice, and praying to the cliff gods to ensure a safe hunt. [2]

The Himalayan honey bee (apis laborious) is the world’s largest honey bee, that builds their nests anywhere from 8,200 to 15,000 feet (2,500m to 4572m) into the air and each nest can yield as much as 130 pounds (59kg) of honey.

But now both the number of bees and traditional honey hunters are in rapid decline as a result of increased commercial interests and climate change. With funding from the Austrian government, the International Center for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) is addressing problems arising from commercialization of honey hunting and the impact of tourism through the Himalayan Honeybees project. Coordinators of the project aim to work with traditional honey hunters to preserve their sustainable harvesting techniques.[3]

  • Honey Hunters of Nepal near Lamjung - video link
  • Honey Hunters of Nepal (104 pages) available on Amazon
  • BBC Natural World - Wild Honey Hunters (full length documentary)
  • Listening to your inner voice: Eric was a cabinet maker and Diane was a lawyer, and both went to Nepal on separate occasions for different reasons. Nepal had a strong pull for Diane, her intuition urged her to go there.  She left her job as a lawyer, and set out on her journey.  Then through a series of coincidences she met husband to be Eric. They have left the beaten track to open their own trail, and they have a message for those who live and work in other walks of life. Their message is one of courage, of pride, of existential fulfillment, and last but not least, of stress tolerance and conflict, because that is what creativity and leadership is all about. [4]

photos:©eric valli. all rights reserved.