Priorities for Education

School property tax money is being used for development!

Are the schools in Georgia meeting all expected standards of excellence and thus don’t need the money?

It’s easy to be cynical these days.

Link: Ruling jolts Beltline, other projects | ajc.com

The Georgia Supreme Court ruled Monday that school property tax money cannot be used to finance Atlanta’s Beltline, a stunning decision that casts doubt on the future of dozens of similar projects across the state, including downtown’s Allen Plaza and Atlantic Station in Midtown.

The unanimous ruling is a victory for Buckhead lawyer John Woodham, who in a 2006 lawsuit claimed the Beltline funding mechanism was illegal. He argued that the state constitution explicitly forbids school taxes from being used for non-educational purposes such as the Beltline, a planned loop of transit, trails, parks and development around the city’s core.

The Supreme Court agreed, citing two earlier rulings, including a 1994 decision which held that DeKalb County school tax revenue couldn’t be used to pay for a nearby road project.

"It’s devastating," said Hal Barry, whose company, Barry Real Estate, is the lead developer at Allen Plaza, an eight-block project near the Georgia Aquarium. "To get this kind of a low blow is really . . . I’m speechless. I can’t think it through yet."

Beautiful Image: Glacial Run

Glacial Run by *wb-skinner on deviantART 

Glacial Run

W B Skinner says:

The Kuskanax River runs clear and cold from the glacial mountains above Nakusp, in south central British Columbia.

I had the great fortune to hike this fantastic river a few times this summer (2007) while visiting the area… following along its rocky banks up into the mountains until at last they became too steep to navigate. So many different flowers and plants grew here … there were several unique little ecosystems completely governed by how much light exposure they received.

Some other photos I took on these outings are : Clearwater Run , Flowers in the River Vale, and Mountain River Morning.

Better Tomorrows

The greatest thing about tomorrow is, I will be better than I am today. And that’s how I look at my life. I will be better as a golfer, I will be better as a person, I will be better as a father, I will be a better husband, I will be better as a friend. That’s the beauty of tomorrow. There is no such thing as a setback. The lessons I learn today I will apply tomorrow, and I will be better.

Tiger Woods

Link: ESPN – The year of living dangerously – Golf

Tiger wins golf tournaments with an arsenal of strengths, but behind it all is the power of his mind.

20 Web References Beyond Wikipedia

Link: Beyond Wikipedia: 20 References You Can’t Do Without | Mindful Ink.

Bartleby – This site has far more than quotes, you can find full texts here as well – poetry in particular.

Citizendium – This is supposed to be the more “professional” Wikipedia. So far it’s not really taken off, but the information here is often a bit more “elite” but usually not as detailed.

Answers.com – Answers.com is a sort of “commercial” Wikipedia. It makes use of the info on Wikipedia, combined with many other reference sties, to become a one stop shop. It also has a mobile site that I tend to use a great deal.

ePodunk – If you’re looking for information regarding a city or place, it doesn’t get much better than ePodunk.

Encyclopedia Britannica – I know it seems awfully “old school” but this site is an excellent source of information and much more authoritative than Wikipedia.

Scholarpedia – A step up from both Wikipedia and Citizendium in terms of scholarly respectability, it doesn’t have nearly as much information, but the articles have all been written by experts with peer review. An academic paradise!

Okay, two sources that your college probably gives you access to. If you aren’t a student, sorry… but these are too good to ignore. You’ll need to see your local school librarian to see how to access these (or you may have a library website you can access it through.)

JSTOR – You know all those stuffy journals around your professors office? And those articles in your course packets? This is pretty much that. For research it enormously useful.

Oxford English Dictionary – The definitive resource when it comes to the English language. Not just for English majors, the OED (as it’s known) is useful for almost anyone in the social sciences.

Wikiseek – When you absolutely, positively, must have the real thing – WikiSeek is Wikipedia with a better search engine. I would also suggest WikiMindMap for when you’re trying to get a better holistic grasp of a subject.

References for Specific Disciplines

Online Education Database – This is a strange site, and I’m not quite sure what to make of it – but this link lists over 100 specific search and research tools, often relevant to specific subjects.

MathWorld – if you have the great misfortune of having to take math, then this site can be of great help. Everything mathematics from Geometry to Calculus is covered by this site in great detail.

GeoHive and Fedstats – These are both statistics sites, so if you need to know how many people. Fedstats allows public access to public agency statistics. Geohive is a bit cooler, primarily providing global statistics (gender populations, coal reserves, etc). I know, it’s so exciting I can’t stand it.

Theoi and Encyclopedia of Mythology – Both excellent resources on the subject of mythology and ancient religions. This is useful information all across the humanities.

Glossary of Poetic Forms – This will help you get through that English Literature class. You too can know the difference between a Canto and a Cento.

Now, if you’re in my fields – these next three are excellent resources.

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy and Foldop – Both of these are excellent sources on just about anything philosophy related. I use the Stanford site all the time.

Religion Online – If you are a scholar of religion this is an excellent, excellent resource filled with many primary texts.

via Dr. Mercola

Selfishness, Greed, Self Restraint, and Empathy

Here’s a quote that may help us understand why many of us are driven to excess, especially when fear is involved.

Selfish behaviors are reward driven and innate, wired deeply into the survival mechanisms of the primitive brain, and when consistently reinforced, they will run away to greed, with its associated craving for money, food, or power. On the other hand, the self restraint and the empathy for others that are so important in fostering physical and mental health are learned behaviors – largely functions of the new human cortex and thus culturally dependent. These social behaviors are fragile and learned by imitations much as we learn language.

Dr. Peter Whybrow – "American Mania"

via The Oil Drum | I am Human, I’m American, and I’m an Addict….