Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Metro atlanta top schools

The list of Metro Atlanta's top 10 schools was published this week. The score is based on the Georgia high school graduation test. Students in these schools had to pass all four tests, in mathematics, science, English language arts and social studies, to graduate.

The schools that made it to the top 10 include Cobb County's Walton High, Pope High, Lassiter High; Cherokee County’s Etowah High School and Woodstock High; DeKalb School of the Arts; Fulton’s Northview High, Chattahoochee High School and Alpharetta High; and Gwinnett County’s Brookwood High.

There were few schools who scored 100%, but they do not count since there were less than 50 students taking the tests.

Click here to read more.

One millionth english word

According to the Global Language monitor (GLM), english language has now become the first truly global language, and is spoken by about 1.53 billion people all over the world. A new english word is created every 98 minutes.

Early today morning, the GLM announced the new word 'Web 2.0' as the one millionth english word. Back in March, the word 'web 2.0' was discussed in this blog. Click here to read that posting.

Below are some of the recent additions to the english language:

1,000,000: Web 2.0 – The next generation of web products and services, coming soon to a browser near you.

999,999: Jai Ho! – The Hindi phrase signifying the joy of victory, used as an exclamation, sometimes rendered as “It is accomplished”. Achieved English-language popularity through the multiple Academy Award Winning film, “Slumdog Millionaire”.

999,998: N00b — From the Gamer Community, a neophyte in playing a particular game; used as a disparaging term.

999,997: Slumdog – a formerly disparaging, now often endearing, comment upon those residing in the slums of India.

999,996: Cloud Computing – The ‘cloud’ has been technical jargon for the Internet for many years. It is now passing into more general usage.

999,995: Carbon Neutral — One of the many phrases relating to the effort to stem Climate Change.

999,994: Slow Food — Food other than the fast-food variety hopefully produced locally (locavores).

999,993: Octomom – The media phenomenon relating to the travails of the mother of the octuplets.

999,992: Greenwashing – Re-branding an old, often inferior, product as environmentally friendly.

999,991: Sexting – Sending email (or text messages) with sexual content.

999,990: Shovel Ready – Projects are ready to begin immediately upon the release of federal stimulus funds.

999,989: Defriend – Social networking terminology for cutting the connection with a formal friend.

Credits: Global Language monitor

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Digital textbooks

This fall, State of California will have online textbooks instead of traditional books. This is a move to close the state budget deficit. The move is called 'Digital Textbook Initiative'.

Below are some statements from the Governor:

“Kids are very familiar listening to music digitally online ... they Twitter, Facebook ... basically, kids are as comfortable with their cell phones as I was when I was a kid with pencil and crayons,” Schwarzenegger said.

“Textbooks are outdated as far as I’m concerned. How can kids be competitive in this economy when textbooks are stale and outdated? An upgraded textbook initiative is not only good for student achievement but the school’s bottom line.”

“California is the home of Silicon Valley. We are the world leader in technology and innovation, so we can do better than that.”

We just have to see how this turns out. Personally, even after reading so much online, I prefer reading out of the books - maybe an old habit that I picked up.

Click here to read the news coverage, and click here to read about the challenges.

The cracked pot

A water bearer in India had two large pots, each hung on each end of a pole which he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it, and while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water at the end of the long walk from the stream to the master's house,the cracked pot arrived only half full.

For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water to his master's house. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect to the end for which it was made. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do. After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream.

"I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you."

"Why?" asked the bearer. "What are you ashamed of?"

"I have been able, for these past two years, to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your master's house. Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this work, and you don't get full value from your efforts," the pot said.

The water bearer felt sorry for the old cracked pot, and in his compassion he said, "As we return to the master's house, I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path."

Indeed, as they went up the hill, the old cracked pot took notice of the sun warming the beautiful wild flowers on the side of the path, and this cheered it some. But at the end of the trail, it still felt bad because it had leaked out half its load, and so again it apologized to the bearer for its failure.

The bearer said to the pot, "Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of your path, but not on the other pot's side?

That's because I have always known about your flaw, and I took advantage of it. I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back from the stream, you've watered them.

For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my master's table. Without you being just the way you are, he would not have this beauty to grace his house."

Each of us has our own unique flaws. We're all cracked pots. But if we will allow it, the Lord will use our flaws to grace His Father's table.

In God's great economy, nothing goes to waste.

So as we seek ways to minister together, and as God calls you to the tasks He has appointed for you, don't be afraid of your flaws.

Acknowledge them, and allow Him to take advantage of them, and you, too, can be the cause of beauty in His pathway.

Go out boldly, knowing that in our weakness we find His strength, and that "In Him every one of God's promises is a Yes."

Monday, June 8, 2009

Amphicars


Heard about Amphicars? Popular in Erope, they are capable of both driving on road as well as swimming through water. The above german amphicar is capable of going over 70mph by road and 8 knots on water. It's driver needs a regular driving licence and a boat licence. A 1967 model amphicar can cost in the range of $60,000 or more.

During the week of July 4th, amphicar owners meet at Grand Lake St. Marys in western Ohio every year.