Because this post discusses fantasy football, but does not discuss my fantasy football team, and is not about fantasy football, I shall risk the wrath of tumblrites and proceed.
For the past nine years, some of my coworkers and I have participated in a fantasy football league on Yahoo. Its always been very casual; something to talk about on Mondays, but not take too seriously. As evidence, I point to the fact that there are typically only one or two trades made in the league over an entire season.
It appears that at least one person has been approaching the league much more seriously than everyone else.
One of the things that I never liked about fantasy football was that on game days, as injuries occurred, people who were paying attention to all the NFL games could jump over to the free agent list and add newly coveted players to their benches. This system heavily favored people who could react quickly to these developments.
I just found out that there is a setting that can put all free agents on waivers each week from the start of their game through the end of the day Tuesday. This system gives everyone an equal chance to evaluate injuries and decide whether to put in a waiver claim between Sunday and Tuesday. My coworker who acts as the commissioner was not aware of this setting either, but immediately saw that it was fairer to everyone and sent out an email that he wanted to implement this change immediately.
One guy did not like this. He came over to the commissioner and ranted for a while with some mostly-nonsensical arguments about why we shouldn’t change. Then he sent out an email to everyone explaining, again nonsensically, that because he missed out on a free agent he wanted after Week 1, the league shouldn’t implement this new rule following Week 2. I replied to the email questioning why the fact that he didn’t benefit from this rule in Week 1 meant that we shouldn’t use it for the rest of the season, and that I thought that the old system favored people who could watch football all day on Sunday, and that the new system was fair to everyone.
He responded with a very ranty email to everyone that included a paragraph calling me ignorant and that if I couldn’t follow the NFL closely enough to act on injuries then I shouldn’t be playing fantasy football.
I replied that I took exception to him calling me ignorant, and that he had degenerated a civil discussion in a workplace environment to something akin to an anonymous internet message board post, and that this was just fantasy football we were talking about. He ignored that and sent out an email that since it appeared that everyone else liked the new rule he was withdrawing his objections. I guess that was his version an apology?
I don’t know this guy very well. He’s probably in his late 20s, and been with the company maybe 4 or 5 years. I can’t say that I’ve ever had any kind of extended conversation with him. Though I’m much more senior than him, he’s not in my group and I have no direct authority over him. Still, I don’t understand what would possess someone to respond that way. It was near the end of the day when that all went down, and I didn’t see him between the emails and when I left. I guess I’ll wait to see if he says anything if I see him tomorrow (I usually see him in passing).
My life every night during the school year - and my kid is a great math student.
I’ve posted on it before and I’ll do so again now…
I’m sure that this Angry Mom - who holds a BS in EE - wouldn’t trust someone with a PhD in elementary education to analyze a circuit, but she feels perfectly justified in analyzing the way math is taught. Because getting an undergraduate degree in applied engineering is so very, very similar to devising modalities of teaching. In fact, hell…she should take that undergraduate degree and walk into a hospital and demand to be hired into a surgical residency because I’m sure it applies there as well. And Italian…she should explain to the simpletons in high schools teaching foreign language how to do that as well.
I recognize that parents are frustrated that they can’t help their children with their homework. That sucks, truly. It sucked in the ’70s as well, when parents complained about New Math and how it wasn’t what they learned and what they learned was so much more correct than all this silly Set nonsense.
Of course, as Set theory is one of the building blocks for computer science and everything our modern economy is built upon, you’ll excuse me if I’m not all teary eyed that my parents and your parents weren’t successful in showing those uppity teachers that their newfangled ideas were stupid. (Much in the same way I despise my parents’ and their cohort for fucking up our transition to the Metric system.)
Common Core math, especially at this level, is quite simple to understand. This question, in isolation, makes no sense because the context in which the algorithm for subtraction is explained is missing. Yep. It’s hard to say how an implementation of an algorithm has gone wrong if you don’t know what right looks like.
But I’m sure Angry Mom can explain the algorithm for her subtraction method, right? I mean, she can break it down into steps that are easily written down? That pesky “carry-over” issue is easy to document, right?
I agree with Richard here. The issue is not the complexity of the problem. The actual math solution is simple as long as the student has been adequately taught to use the number line as a problem solving tool.
One issue is whether the students have been adequately taught to use the tool. Have they? I don’t know. I’m not in the classroom. But I’ve read elsewhere that teachers may not be receiving adequate training in order to properly teach students how to use the new tools.
Another issue is that parents certainly haven’t been taught to use the new tools. I myself have a fancy schmancy engineering degree and have on occasion been befuddled by a problem on my son’s math homework. I sometimes must make him first teach me the methods he’s been learning in class in order for me to be able to help him on a specific problem. I think because of my background this approach has worked out well for me; I can see how it may not work for other parents. It certainly doesn’t help that (for my son’s school, anyway) the schools do not send the children home with textbooks that instruct on the new methods; they just come home with homework sheets. The schools aren’t giving the parents any resources to help their children.
A new employee started today. Another Chris. Five out of 45 people (11%) in this office are now named Chris.
In order to minimize the potential for misunderstandings*, I’ve proposed a rule that only the longest-tenured Chris** may be referred to as “Chris”. All other persons named Chris must be referred to in conversation by a pseudonym. Pseudonyms may consist of ‘Chris’ in combination with the person’s surname or initial (e.g. Chris Brown, Chris B.), as long as the surname or initial does not duplicate that of the longest-tenured Chris. Pseudonyms may also consist of ‘Chris’ and a descriptive modifier (e.g. Hairy Chris, Stinky Chris, Bronie Chris). Pseudonyms may NOT consist of ‘Chris’ followed by a numerical identifier (e.g. Chris #2, Chris #3) because of the potential for virulent flashbacks of Mr. Flangheddy’s 11th grade English class. Finally, pseudonyms which do not contain ‘Chris’ may be used, provided that they are not similar to other employees’ names (e.g. Blue Ivy, Apple, Amarok of the Fire Elves).
Actually, now that I’ve thought a little more about it, I might be willing to go by a pseudonym.
*Think Three’s Company minus the sexual innuendos***.
There’s a huge flare-up today over the video just leaked to TMZ showing Ray Rice punching his then-fiancée Janay Palmer in the face in an elevator and knocking her unconscious. People are calling for Ray Rice to be released, calling out the Ravens for glossing over the incident and victim-shaming, calling for Roger Goodell to come clean over whether he had seen this video before suspending Rice for a ridiculously-low two games.
Everyone has known since the incident occurred in February that Ray Rice hit Janay Palmer in the face so hard that he knocked her unconscious. Video of Rice dragging the unconscious Palmer out of the elevator was leaked to TMZ and seen by all back in February. And sure, people were upset then, but I don’t recall the outrage being up today’s fervor.
The video doesn’t show anything counter to what people have known about the case. Rice’s hand is a blur as he throw’s a punch and Palmer falls to the ground. Yes, it’s outrageous that he did this, but it was outrageous back in February, and it was outrageous that the Ravens glossed it over and victim-shamed Palmer, and it was outrageous that the NFL handed down only a two-game suspension. That was all outrageous based on the fact that we all knew what happened.
To my knowledge, no one has ever claimed that the incident went down differently than shown in today’s video.
So why did it take actually seeing the punch to get people outraged?
That thing where you have a common name and have it as your email address and always get emails intended for other people with the same name and it’s annoying as hell and then one woman thinks you’re her significant other and emails you a photo of her boobs and then you don’t remember why you were so angry about having a common name as your email address.
Interesting that a police officer, in South Carolina!, was fired for threatening a black man during a traffic stop. I would normally expect nothing to come of this. Did the fact that the man is in the NFL have anything to do with disciplinary action, or did the Department of Public Safety do the right thing just because it was the right thing to do?
Workers at a state-of-the-art solar plant in the Mojave Desert have a name for birds that fly through the plant’s concentrated sun rays — “streamers,” for the smoke plume that comes from birds that ignite in midair.
After the news crew flees from the tear gas (new standard for getting rid of news crews), the police come over to dismantle their setup and point the camera at the ground. In case it were to, you know, accidentally record anything.
“What is happening in Ferguson is exactly what opponents of the rise in military-style policing across America have long feared: when the feds arm white local cops with weapons of war and their superiors encourage them not to just play dress-up but to use their new war toys, it is inevitable that ordinary citizens – especially citizens of color – will get treated as the enemy.”—Ferguson is what happens when white suburban cops get weapons of war, writes Sadhbh Walshe. (via guardian)
“Liberals, you want to send those evil employees who would dare work at a fast food joint then ya just don’t believe in, thought you wanted to, I dunno, send them to Purgatory or somethin’ so they all go vegan?”—
My nephew, who just turned 6, has always had a problem with hyperactivity. His mother brought a variety of 12-packs of soda (pop for those of you with such inclinations) to the boys’ party today, including Mountain Dew. At one point, my nephew comes outside drinking one of the cans of Dew. I asked him if he had permission from his mother to drink it. He said yes, and sure enough, she was watching him from the porch.
I don’t normally drink liquor because I really enjoy drinking beer, l tend to get drunk way too quickly (and possibly sick) if I drink liquor, and these days I also need to make sure what I drink is wheat free.
This afternoon/evening we went over a friend’s house for a get-together and one of our friends brought this wheat-free vodka because she was tired of my excuses for not drinking liquor, and so I basically had to drink it, and I might now be a little bit drunk.
But we just got home and I had to look up the vodka because I thought at the time, “well if I have to drink vodka I’m glad that it’s got a solid name behind it like Tito’s”, and now I see that not only is it Tito’s, but his name is actually Tito Beveridge and I’m really having a hard time believing that the whole thing isn’t just a hoax.
It seems just about anything can be patented these days:
U.S. Patent No. 8,762,173, titled “Method and Apparatus for Indirect Medical Consultation.” This patent issued on June 24, 2014, and dates back to an application filed in November 2007. And what was the novel, nonobvious, deserving-of-patent-protection invention? Here is claim 1 in a nutshell (the full claim is at the end of this post, for those interested):
a. take a telephone call from patient b. record patient info in a patient file c. send patient information to a doctor, ask the doctor if she wants to talk to the patient d. call the patient back and transfer the call to the doctor e. record the call f. add the recorded call to the patient file and send to doctor g. do steps a. – f. with a computer.
The whole thing is pretty ridiculous, but what’s up with Step “g”? It seems like it was just thrown in there.
Given that this patent seems like it should not have been allowed because of its abstract idea, we looked at the file history (the publicly available record of what happened at the patent office). What we found was that the original claim 1 (which was similar but not identical to the claim that eventually was patented) had not claimed a computer. The examiner correctly issued a rejection, saying the claim was abstract and thus wasn’t something that could be patented. In response, the applicant added element (g) (“providing a computer, the computer performing steps “a” through “f””). And the rejection went away.
Somehow, something that wasn’t patentable became patentable just by saying “do it with a computer.”
Left to their own devices, teachers are once again trying to incorporate new ideas into old scripts, often botching them in the process. One especially nonsensical result stems from the Common Core’s suggestion that students not just find answers but also “illustrate and explain the calculation by using equations, rectangular arrays, and/or area models.” The idea of utilizing arrays of dots makes sense in the hands of a skilled teacher, who can use them to help a student understand how multiplication actually works. For example, a teacher trying to explain multiplication might ask a student to first draw three rows of dots with two dots in each row and then imagine what the picture would look like with three or four or five dots in each row. Guiding the student through the exercise, the teacher could help her see that each march up the times table (3x2, 3x3, 3x4) just means adding another dot per row. But if a teacher doesn’t use the dots to illustrate bigger ideas, they become just another meaningless exercise. Instead of memorizing familiar steps, students now practice even stranger rituals, like drawing dots only to count them or breaking simple addition problems into complicated forms (62+26, for example, must become 60+2+20+6) without understanding why. This can make for even poorer math students. “In the hands of unprepared teachers,” Lampert says, “alternative algorithms are worse than just teaching them standard algorithms.”
I haven’t been around Tumblr much lately because, well, I haven’t been around much lately.
There’s not much in the way of instruction for aspiring young catchers around here. The town’s youth league does nothing, and private facilities in the area don’t have people that specialize in that position. Aidan has learned basically just by picking up what other people do, which in this case is not really a good thing.
I found a well-regarded guy who does only catching instruction for a living and runs a summer camp that’s a 1-hour 15-minute drive away. Aidan really wants to learn how to play the position correctly, so I agreed to take the week off work to take him.
The camp was 4 hours a day, and I (along with about half the parents) hung around to watch. I got to learn along with Aidan, and hopefully will now be able to help him practice what he learned.
The coach is a good educator and did a great job explaining the reasoning behind everything he taught. There were a total of 13 assistant coaches (college catchers who had gone through this program) and about 36 students, which was a fantastic ratio.
I was skeptical about how much he’d like the camp, because it was all instruction; there were no scrimmages. But he really loved it. He’s very excited about everything he learned, which is good because I took a week’s vacation and drove 2½ hours a day.
And then we’d come home and had to go to baseball games 3 nights this week, which finished of the regular summer season. The team clinched home field for at least their first playofff game on Monday. And for the first time Aidan threw out a runner trying to steal second base.