NCLB comes to football — No Halfback Left Behind

March 21, 2008

Who was the genius who wrote this? It’s an internet e-mail masterpiece, and it comes without attribution. Do you know who wrote it? Please tell us in comments.

And if you don’t understand it, you’re not a teacher. Pass it to a teacher to explain to you what’s really going on; tip of the old scrub brush to Pam at Grassroots Science; she pointed to this piece in Shibby’s Alaska Journal:

No Child Left Behind – Football Version

The football version of what is going on in education right now. (If you’re not an educator, this may not make a lot of sense to you. But send it to your friends who are in education. They will love it!) For all the educators – In or out of the system.

1. All teams must make the state playoffs and all MUST win the championship. If a team does not win the championship, they will be on probation until they are the champions, and coaches will be held accountable. If after two years they have not won the championship their footballs and equipment will be taken away UNTIL they do win the championship.

2. All kids will be expected to have the same football skills at the same time even if they do not have the same conditions or opportunities to practice on their own. NO exceptions will be made for lack of interest in football, a desire to perform athletically, or genetic abilities or disabilities of themselves or their parents. ALL KIDS WILL PLAY FOOTBALL AT A PROFICIENT LEVEL!

3. Talented players will be asked to workout on their own, without instruction. This is because the coaches will be using all their instructional time with the athletes who aren’t interested in football, have limited athletic ability or whose parents don’t like football.

4. Games will be played year round, but statistics will only be kept in the 4th, 8th, and 11th game. This will create a New Age of Sports where every school is expected to have the same level of talent and all teams will reach the same minimum goals. If no child gets ahead, then no child gets left behind.

NASA needs eyewitnesses: Were you at the intersection of Milky Way and Bootës on the evening of March 19?

March 21, 2008

No kidding. Our Italian physicist friend Dorigo passed along the note on his blog, Quantum Diaries Survivor. George Gliba at NASA ( hopes someone was watching Bootës at about 6:10 UT (which would be about 1:10 a.m. Central Daylight Time (CDT), if I’m calculating that correctly).

Gliba said:

Last night the NASA SWIFT spacecraft saw the most extrinsically luminous Gamma-ray Burst ever known. Some ground based telescopes recorded the visual optical afterglow to be 5th magnitude!

Here’s your chance to make science history: If you may have seen the thing, or better, if you have a videotape of the incident (which may have lasted a few minutes), scientists would sure love to see it.

Here’s what the Swift telescope captured:

Gamma Ray burst in Bootes, GRB 080319B
The extremely luminous afterglow of GRB 080319B was imaged by Swift’s X-ray Telescope (left) and Optical/Ultraviolet Telescope (right). This was by far the brightest gamma-ray burst afterglow ever seen. Credit: NASA/Swift/Stefan Immler, et al.

So, did you see it? Call George Gliba; details, Gliba’s note to physicists and astronomers below the fold.

What is a gamma ray burst?

Most gamma ray bursts occur when massive stars run out of nuclear fuel. Their cores collapse to form black holes or neutron stars, releasing an intense burst of high-energy gamma rays and ejecting particle jets that rip through space at nearly the speed of light like turbocharged cosmic blowtorches. When the jets plow into surrounding interstellar clouds, they heat the gas, often generating bright afterglows. Gamma ray bursts are the most luminous explosions in the universe since the big bang.

“This burst was a whopper,” said Swift principal investigator Neil Gehrels of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. “It blows away every gamma ray burst we’ve seen so far.”

Calculations show this one was 7 billion light years away. Cool!

Read the rest of this entry »

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