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Does this Puzzle have you banging your head in frustration? 
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Pet peeve of the day: Oregon is trying to make it harder to have exceptional public schools. Which kind of sucks.

Background for non-Americans: the US school system is a disaster, with very uneven quality. You have some good school districts, and you have some really bad ones, and it's all just pretty crazy. Very different from back in Finland, where education isn't just good, it's fairly reliably good. You don't have to worry too much about which school you go to, because while there are certainly differences, they simply don't tend to be all that marked.

In the US, if you care about education, you end up having to make sure you live in a good school district. Or you do the whole private school thing, or try to make sure you can transfer, or whatever. The one thing you do not do is to just take it for granted. You work at it.

I'm not a huge believer in private schools, and I actually wanted my kids to be able to walk to their friends houses, so we made sure to move to one of the better districts in Oregon.

Now, living in a good school district means that you end up paying a lot more for housing, so it's not actually necessarily really any cheaper than sending your kids to a private school. But you do also end up being in a community where people care about education, so it's not just the school: it's the whole environment around you and your kids.

But it's unquestionably unfair, and it unquestionably means that people who can afford it get a better education in the US. Despite the whole "public" part of the US public school system, it's like so much else in the US: you don't want to be poor. The whole "American Dream" is pretty much a fairy tale.

So the Oregon legislature is trying to fix the unfairness. Which I very much understand, because I really do detest the whole US school system - it was always one of the things that we talked about being a possible reason to move back to Finland when the kids needed to go to school. We ended up learning how the US system works, and made it work for us, but that doesn't mean that I have to like the situation. Because I've seen better.

So why is trying to make things fairer a peeve?

The way the Oregon legislature is trying to fix things isn't by making the average school better, it's by trying to make it hard to have the (fairly few) bright spots around.

In particular, let's say that you do have a good school district, where people not only end up paying for it in the property taxes (which is what largely funds the school), but also by having special local tax bonds for the school in addition to the big fund-raisers every year. Because the public US school funding just isn't that great, so the local community ends up fixing it - to the point of literally raising much of the money to build a new building etc.

And I realize that this all just sounds completely insane and broken to any sane person, but hey, Americans are so used to it that they seem to think that it's how things should work. The whole school bake sale is a part of the whole American psyche (and I'd be a big proponent of using that funding method for the military too, but somehow it never works that way).

Anyway, if you actually were successful, had people who cared deeply about the local school, and built a good local public school around such a community, such a school district used to be able to accept out-of-district kids, but charge them extra tuition to make up for the fact that they obviously aren't paying the local tax bonds etc.

And now, in the name of fairness, there's a bill (HB 2748) getting pushed through to make that kind of "out-of-district tuition student" not be an option any more. 

And I really do understand the fairness question. Why should public schools be able to charge some people, just because they don't live in the right place? It's a public school, isn't it?

I'd be frickin annoyed too about the kids of well-to-do families who get to go to a better school in their nice district. I absolutely get it. I grew up in a country where private schools were for odd people who wanted their kids to be in full-time foreign language immersion classes and learn more than just four languages. Where one of my buddies transferred to my school not because it was more convenient or a better school, but because it was the only Swedish-speaking one that taught Latin, for chissake. And it was all free, and we didn't need to have cookie bake sales.

So I really do understand why people would want to get rid of the special schools and find them odious. I find them odious, and they are a sign of how broken the US school system is.

Except HB 2748 doesn't actually do anything to try to fix the breakage, it just says "you can't charge out-of-district students". It doesn't fix the bad schools, it just makes it harder to be a good school. Suddenly local tax bonds etc don't make much sense, because you can't make non-residents bring in the equivalent funding.

Oh well. I bet nobody wanted to hear that whine, and I guess I should put the "First world problems" meme picture here, but hey, I wanted to get that rant off my chest.
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No Hands , But Still he works to feed his old parents.

>>>> http://studmate.net
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                              Plantbook Laptop Concept
A highly futuristic concept of a laptop that bases it’s charging system in the same water-soaking abilities of the bamboo by the designers Seunggi Baek and Hyerim Kim. The Plantbook system uses an external water tank, hence the Plantbook continuously absorbs water when soaking it in water and generates electrolysis using power stored in a solar heat plate installed on the top. In this process, it is operated using hydrogen as energy source and discharges oxygen. If you put it into a water bottle while you don’t use the laptop, it automatically charges a battery and discharges oxygen.
YouTube: Plantbook Laptop Concept
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Whether a high-speed rail system ever gets built in the United States is still up in the air, but this map shows where these 220mph trains would go in the U.S.

Get more details: http://on.mash.to/1563wLP

Would you like to see a high-speed rail system in the U.S.?
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h/t E.H.
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In their circles
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Does this Puzzle have you banging your head in frustration? 
Here it is broken down into individual frames.
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jaCKIE SCHEETZ scheetz's profile photoUmang Jain's profile photoRaja ganesh's profile photo
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The lower parts of the big piece in the right was decreased, whereas the lower parts of the piece in the left was increased. Thats what made all of it..)
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                     Aerogel Frozen Smoke

Aerogel, also know as frozen smoke, is the world’s lowest density solid,clocking in at 96% air. If you hold a small piece in your  hand, it’s practically impossible to either see or feel, but if you poke it, it’s like
styrofoam. It supports up to 4,000 times its own weight and can withstand a direct blast from two pounds of dynamite
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tY99KZMuG-k
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[Major Update] "Circles" Changed to "Find People", Brings Along New Experience for Finding and Adding People You May Know"

In a major new update that has just been announced by +Sean Purcell, there's a new way to see suggestions and add people to your Circles.

Read the developing story here: http://goo.gl/VNfvy

--------------------

#googleplusupdate   #googleplusdaily  
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Quotes, Interesting and Amazing things, Common Knowledge that you need to know.