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26 August, 2010


Well it's back to school for a lot of folks and it's got me thinking about the whole education thing. As I went through school I typically achieved average to above average grades. I was often interested in the subjects, did my homework, studied for tests etc... but I was never really that motivated. I was much more interested in discussing and analyzing topics than I was in simply remembering all the important facts and regurgitating them on exam day. In fact, I think people like me are at a distinct disadvantage in the current education system because a) we sucked at most sports and b) exams simply tested our ability to store and retrieve information.

I really think it's a major flaw in the system that is reliant on achieving test scores so that funding can be allocated. Why couldn't we be tested by, say, hosting a debate on a chosen topic, leading the class in a lecture, explaining your use of art techniques and inspirations...etc.. For those of us that second guess ourselves in exams and can't remember the exact date of every battle in the reign of Henry VIII this would be much more appropriate and fitting.

One has to look at the actual end result: What skills do you want these children to have when they finish education? Sure, they are now great at remembering the shopping list they left at home but can they put forward a reasonable, informed argument about why they believe in freedom of religion, or gay marriage, or why the sky is blue? Are our children leaving the school system curious about the world and open to critical thinking about their lives, or did athleticism or brain power allow them to achieve the highest accolades in school but leave them closed minded and inwardly-focused?

In some fields simply remembering the facts is actual very important. Such as the laws of physics and math. Engineering pretty much relies on absolute truths. However, I completed a degree in the human science field which pretty much leads to working with people yet I found myself sitting with at least 4 or 5 people in every class who lacked even basic people skills. These same people usually aced every exam though. They had neat folders with coloured tabs marking each different topic, they brought Dictaphones to every lecture, they asked endless, pedantic, questions when it came to test time or writing a paper. "How long should it be?" "How short can it be?" "Can I use a pencil?" - demanding guidelines and rules in a field where the papers are as long as it takes you to explain the topic adequately.

Unfortunately, I see these people out in the field now. Working with people yet seemingly mystified by them. Some even seem to be angered by others, and without that ability to look inwards or ask "why?" they have walked into the cage of their profession without thinking to check the combination lock on the door.

09 August, 2010

Debit card blues

Well it happened again. Someone tried to use my debit card to make charges I didn't authorize and no it wasn't Lady Allclick. She learned her lesson well after I prosecuted to the full extent of the law (kidding, of course!).

I checked my bank last week and while skimming through noticed a charge of $1.00 to "APL*ITUNES 866-712-7753 CA". It was still "Pre-AUTH" so it hadn't completed yet but I knew something wasn't right. I called my local bank but as it was 4:31 they were closed and there was no-one available to speak. In the end I called the stolen/lost hotline and they canceled the card. Even the $1.00 didn't go through so that was great, but for the second time in two years I'm waiting for a new debit card to arrive.

I decided to report the card after doing a little research. It turns out that lots of people have fallen victim to this. Some with or without itunes accounts. Frighteningly, many people reported that when they had alerted Apple to the fact that someone had made fraudulent itunes purchases on their account Apple did jack squat and state that they do not refund any "authorized purchases". Some folks had hundreds of dollars of charges. Another guy had his itunes connected to his paypal and they were able to draw $4999 out of his bank without a red flag. Apparently in the small print it says that by linking the accounts you agree that up to $5000 can be made in purchases without letting the individual know.

From reading lots of comments it seems that the scam works by someone guessing your debit card number. Most banks use sequential numbering so once they have one debit card they can guess at the next number in the sequence. Then when they think they have the details they try the $1.00 purchase...if that goes through they go to town and rack up the big bucks, so check your bank statements often.

07 August, 2010

2 Guys / 3 Movies Podcast - Movies we thought would suck...but didn't

Episode 3 is here with a bang and some discussion about CB radios and Ted Levine. This week the guys talk about 3 movies they thought would be pretty darn awful but...turns out they were wrong!

Fans of Kate Winslet will be happy here, however, those who love Peter Jackson and Quintin Tarantino will probably want to write in to complain…to this address:

allclicknopoint at the Gmail address

or check this blog and:

The Film Geek

02 August, 2010

This is Rusty Nail...

For those of you that may have missed this back in 2001 here is a great little thriller written by none other than J.J. Abrams himself. If you like driving. If you like cars. If you like truckers and CD radios and deadly pursuit then this is for you. Plus, you'll be able to understand what the heck I'm talking about on this episodes podcast. You can't stream it on Netflix unfortunately so you will have to watch it the old fashioned adding it to your Netflix list of course.