The power is out, so I'm on the netbook. We just had some scary weather. The tornado siren across the street was wailing, and the neighbors actually collected in the basement of the building. That's a first.
The tornado warnings seemed more dire than usual, but maybe it's just post-Joplin jitters.
Other than one tree down in the alley, it looks like the neighborhood is still standing, though the WGN website says that the metro area is "in shambles."
Kids today are the victims of educational dumbing down, right?
[T]he first large-scale proficiency study—of Texas students, in 1915-16—demonstrated that many couldn’t tell Thomas Jefferson from Jefferson Davis or 1492 from 1776. A 1943 survey of seven thousand college freshmen found that, among other things, only six per cent of them could name the original thirteen colonies. “Appallingly ignorant,” the Times harrumphed, as it would again in the face of another dismal showing, in 1976. ... The NAEP results through more than four decades have been consistently mediocre, which may prove nothing except, as [Sam Wineburg, a professor of education and history at Stanford] wrote in 2004, “our amnesia of past ignorance.” The New Yorker
People who lived in the past are the beneficiaries of contemporary fantasy and idealization. Investigators who have studied the Flynn Effect estimate that when we apply contemporary IQ values, the average American of 1932 had an IQ of 80. That isn't very bright. If we compare age and socioeconomic cohorts, people today are, on average, smarter and better educated across the board.
I don't watch beauty pageants or make any effort to learn the results. They're a bore, and they strike me as an anachronism. I'm surprised anyone watches them.
But I noticed the name of the winner of the Miss USA pageant--Campanella. I guess she's Italian or part Italian. Reading about it, I saw that last year's winner was a Muslim. I didn't know that. Used to be that the winners were almost always blond girls from Texas, with the occasional black woman thrown in after the pageant operators were accused of bigotry a few decades ago.
I note this because my cousin was actually a contestant one year. That was the only time I watched one of these pageants since childhood. And I only watched it long enough to see her eliminated. My recollection is that she made it to the final ten, but maybe she didn't. At the time, the talk was that she couldn't win because she wasn't a blond WASP girl or a black girl. The ethnic girls from the Northeast supposedly didn't have a chance.
So maybe these pageants have progressed, assuming you don't think that their very existence is an embarrassment to a modern society.
Isn't Trump involved with these contests? Right there is reason enough to be embarrassed.