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Friday, October 8, 2010

“The optimist sees opportunity in every danger; the pessimist sees danger in every opportunity.” 
—Winston Churchill

Shake, snooze, get married and go to a community college

The French go against America's grain. They do not work. Of course they work, but under 35 hours a week. This may come from their history of villages and landowners. People in the village would spend time together, grooming, gossiping, playing games, drinking and just taking their times with others. Instead of the US protestant English based work ethic, the French work hard for fewer hours than spend time enjoying family, friends, community and life. In this week's Foreign Policy Magazine there is an article titles "In Praise of Laziness" about this quite different but productive French version of the work ethic.  Note that as a rule, the French do live longer.

95,000 American jobs ere lost last month.

The census bureau says that there is a reversal in this country. Today college educated people are more likely to get married than those who have no college. Pew and the University of Wisconsin say that blue collar is way down due to the recession and jobs have left the country, so non-college educated males are less attractive to qualified women, or cannot afford to get married. Marriage does make men more productive, according to UW studies, and women tend to spend far less money once they are married. All signs of the economic times.

1 in 4 unborn babies in the US have an online presence, including e-mail adress or Facebook site. Have we gone too far?

The Bank of America is halting foreclosures all 50 states. A full acessment of its foreclosure practice will be done before it begins again. North Carolina, where the B of A moved from its historic San Francisco roots, gave B of A until Friday to cease, so they decided to stop nation wide.

The Rose Bowl wil have an 185 million dollar overhaul and be renamed after its new sponsor (the stadium will have a corporate first name, and the parade will not longer be the Tournament of Roses, but both will keep the name Rose Bowl in their names...).

San andreas
The "Big One" on the San Andreas fault just got a little bigger.
New research showing a section of the fault is long overdue for a major earthquake has some scientists saying that the fault is now capable of a magnitude 8.1 earthquake that could run 340 miles from Monterey County to the Salton Sea. 

A fault that could unleash a record 8.1 earthquake from Monterey in Northern California to the Sultan Sea of extreme Southern California, has been discovered and is seriously over due for stress relieving smaller faults. The BIG ONE could be coming. Check out the official US Earthquake site by clicking here.

A Chinese dissident was awarded the Nobel Peace prize despite warnings from China. All news is blacked out, and screened, with hour long delays on the BBC, CNN and other foreign news stories so censorship is possible. They are criticizing the Nobel Committee while bribing and selling them their own citizens in science and other fields.

In China "national dignity" is first, above national pride. So, despite the award they feel insulted and harmed irreparably, so they are very angry.

China is controlled by the Communist party, which has constitutional power over the civil government and is allowed to use the constitution of that country as a platform more than a governing document.

And on Community Colleges, these notes:
Community Colleges are an important part of higher education but also of the communities (both physical and cultural) they are a part of. These include language, nationalities, business, politics, the role of alumni, the role of sports and other identity generating service, the role in training alumni and community members, as a front edge for the use of training for technology...

Full time faculty is important, but the role of adjuncts has increased. The President's forum focused on finding ways to incentivize, support and growing qualified adjunct faculty, including training. Retention of part time and full time faculty has become a problem with stagnant pay and the pressures of growth and the recession combined (the perfect storm). Faculty are teaching 5 to 8 courses or course sections, eating into time mentoring students, support functions on campus, volunteer services and expansion of their own interests and research.

Students and their needs are changing.

75% of students are working, 65% have children of their own, more than 80% are part time, 25% are vets (and growing), it now takes 5 years on the average to earn a simple two year associates degree, the majority of community students are first generation college students (the highest since World War II), community college instructors (particularly adjuncts) have almost no professional development, the needs of students for adult basic education (including math, English, basic hygiene, social skills and why bother learning and studying), the miss-focus on money (the students all seem to want to advance financially but not not understand the other core values), funding cuts of 20 to as high as 70% since the recession began, increased student body, competition from for profit two year programs, relationships and declining transfer opportunities to 4 year schools and universities, keeping tuition low, finding ways for alternative financing of the cost covered by states or governments, finding ways to deal with the other costs of life while attending school, the challenge of financial aid (consolidation, simplification, eliminating work penalties, increasing grants, child support and transportation services, other services being cut in this recession), the Digital Divide (it is real and growing not shrinking, as students digital knowledge shifts to non-literate levels such as texting or video games), obligation to military students and their families....
(t-shirt shown is for sale at

Transformative use of technology to build on competency, shifting from "seat-time" to competency. Accessibility is also key. Can cloud, on-line and non in person courses carry the same achievement and learning weight? 

Its the perfect storm...enrollments skyrocketing during strong decreases in revenue (impacting teaching and courses but also financial aid offices and other support services)...industry is shifting away from traditional jobs (training needed now, not ten years from now)....

Financial air is up 150%, full time student enrollments up 205%. Doors are closing. Programs being cut.

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Let me know your thoughts and observations.

-Art Lynch

Google honors John Lennon's 70th

The Google logo for today honors tomorrow's 70th birthday of the late John Lennon. Today "Glee!" passed the Beatles in overall gross "album" hits. Of course prices are higher, there is digital distribution and the Beatles were artists not a television package....

Obama Community College Conference

College of Southern Nevada If you want to check out President Obama's speech on community colleges, we've posted the opening and closing sessions of the White House Summit on Community Colleges online.
For those who were unable to watch the White House Summit on Community Colleges live on the web on Tuesday, Oct. 5. We have posted the opening and closing sessions here.

Assumptions and anger in the digital age

An irate individual keeps trying to post personal comments and comments on Screen Actors Guild on a theater blog I help administer. I am one of four administrators and I do not "own" the site. Its' mission is clear and easy to understand.

People do not listen or read, I guess.

I am not the one who is deleting their comments, but their anger and resentment toward me grows because no matter how much they may be told the assumption remains that I am, well, doing something to them.

Here is the site:

For this blog, the one you are reading, posts are delayed and only posts from students or fellow teachers are accepted (no advertising) and nothing that is an attack, other than one justified by the post you are responding to. This is not Facebook, with instant posts and the decision of an administrator after the fact to cancel it.

Robots, or people who are aggressively using technology to market their own services, name or ideas, strike Facebook and other networking sites with posts that, even if up only a few hours, benefit those beind the response post financially or politically.

Its' a new digital networking universe we live in.

(Side note, the Dam Short Film Festival is looking for someone to help with network marketing and Internet contacts for the festival this year (now to February 12).

What are your views and observations?

3D Torcher Porn the New Horror Film?

From the LA Times:

A beautiful young woman travels to a charming cabin in secluded woods, where morally deprived locals inflict hideous acts of torture and degradation. Revenge ensues involving bear traps, baseball bats and rusty hedge clippers.

That pretty much sums up director Steven R. Monroe's reboot of the 1979 cult classic "I Spit on Your Grave," which reaches theaters on Friday.

But while the original was a controversial exercise in torture porn -- and was named to Time magazine's Top 10 Ridiculously Violent movies thanks to its extended scenes of gang rape and graphic depictions of murder -- the new "I Spit on Your Grave" is making headlines around Hollywood for a different reason: It's the second horror movie this month to be released in major markets without an MPAA rating. 

More on this story and others from the LA Times, click here.

Company Town Fix from the LA Times

A couple of horror films are skipping that whole MPAA movie rating thing. 

The Morning Fix: MGM finally unveils restructuring plan! Former 'ChiPs' star Larry Wilcox pulled over. AEG has cable play plans.