Archive for September, 2011
September 30th, 2011 by Richard
I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while, but, well, you dudes know how these things go. One thing gets in the way, then another thing rushes along and, before you know it, I’ve procrastinated my way through another working day.
Okay, maybe that first bit was a bit much, but I really couldn’t help myself. Procrastination is something with which I am so intimately familiar that we’re like old friends and capable of joking around any time. Secretly, though, I’d like to strangle procrastination, dismember it’s corpulent body and then dump the parts in separate barrels of acid, only to bury them in the bottom of a nuclear-waste repository.
I’m not the only person who has troubles with procrastination. No, not by a long shot. You dudes know who else has a real bad problem with procrastination? Young dudes and dudettes who have ADD (Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder). I know, probably not a revelation, but it’s something that needs to be considered when you’re raising a kid with the ADD.
Starting a task on time and at the appropriate time is difficult for kids with ADD because their brains are always focused on the present, the intense instant, which leads to exclusion of planning for the future. They want to focus their scant attentional resources on the most interesting thing in their immediate environment and that’s most likely not going to be homework or work.
Using a list on procrastination-destruction tips from ADDitude magazine, I thought I’d go over a couple of ideas on how we as parents can help our procrastinating progeny to get to work.
If your young dude has a specific thing he hates the most in his homework, you could try to establish a set time to do that. Having an assigned time helps kids to focus in that they know when it’s coming up and can start to think about it.
When your young dudette has a long-term project, work with her to break the project down into discrete steps that each have a deadline set by you and by her. Many kids, not just those with ADD, hate non-specific, long-term projects because they feel like the assignments are too vague, leaving too much up to them. They like direction. Help your young dudette to learn how to give herself direction.
Another timing tip is to have your child select his or her own start time to begin working on homework or a project. Once again, scheduling is helpful to getting a good beginning and then staying on task.
Also? Think about bribery. No, seriously. I’ve always thought bribery was a good idea when working with kids. You can thank my mom for this one. When your kid starts work on time, on her own, give her a little something. Positive reinforcement is good.
That’s all I’m going to go over now, but visit the article if you want more tips. There’s plenty there you can take advantage of. Go do it.
Share on Facebook
Tags: A Dude's Guide to Kids
, Attention Deficit Disorder
, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity
, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder
, Attentional Resources
, Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
, Discrete Steps
, Freaky Friday
, Freaky Friday
, Nuclear Waste Repository
, Old Friends
, Young Dudes
September 29th, 2011 by Richard
Let’s take a break from talking about certain idiocy and, instead, discuss the impossible. Over the last week, the news out of Switzerland has been full of the impossible. Scientists at CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research), the folks who run the Large Hadron Collider, have clocked a vanishingly small subatomic particle called the neutrino breaking a universal speeding limit.
According to these scientists, they created some neutrinos that traveled faster than the speed of light. According to Albert Einstein’s widely accepted model of the cosmos, nothing can travel faster than the speed of light, which is approximately 186,000 miles per second squared.
If these scientists running the OPERA1 experiment are right, and that is an if of Brobdingnagian proportions, we’re going to have to throw out all our physics handbooks and start taking a hard, new look at how the universe operates.
The OPERA experiment is dedicated to the observation of a neutrino beam produced by the CERN accelerators in Geneva and detected 730 km further, from the underground laboratory of Gran Sasso, in Italy. Light travels the distance in 2.4 milliseconds.
Yet the OPERA experiment has detected neutrinos reaching Gran Sasso 60 nanoseconds sooner. In other words, after a 730 km run, neutrinos cross the finish line 20 meters ahead of hypothetical photons that would have travelled the same distance.
“We have set up a system enabling us to achieve synchronization between CERN and Gran Sasso with nanosecond accuracy and we have measured the distance between both sites to within 20 cm. Due to the low uncertainty of these measurements, we are very confident in our results,” says Dario Autiero, CNRS researcher at the Institute Nuclear Physics (IPNL) in Lyon.“We are therefore anxious to compare our measurements with those of other experiments, as nothing in our data explains why neutrinos seem to travel so fast”
Rebuttals are flying fast and furious around the scientific community, with frequent mentions of the tabletop fusion debacle, in which two scientists’ claims of creating a fusion reactor that ran cold and produced more energy than went into the experiment, was roundly denied and eventually proved to be a hoax.
If nothing else, the OPERA experimenters seem extremely sincere.
I don’t know about you dudes, but I’m very excited by this and deeply hope this is true. Not only for the sheer joy of cracking something long thought not only impossible but hard-coded into the very fabric of existence, but because of the possibilities it opens up.
Obviously, if neutrinos can travel faster than light, maybe we can as well, either physically or informationally. On a more metaphorically track, if this impossible thing can be achieved, what other impossible thing can be brought into the realm of the possible? This is exciting stuff.
Share on Facebook
Tags: A Dude's Guide to Life
, Albert Einstein
, European Organization
, Faster Than The Speed Of Light
, Finish Line
, Gran Sasso
, Large Hadron Collider
, Neutrino Beam
, Nuclear Physics
, Nuclear Research
, Opera Experiment
, Speed Of Light
, Subatomic Particle
, Underground Laboratory
September 28th, 2011 by Richard
Today should be an interesting day for all the young dudes and dudettes in Hyper Lad’s middle school. But it won’t. Because some parents are idiots and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School district enables their idiocy.
You might have guessed I’m a little hot under the collar about this one. Here’s the deal.
Today, President Barak Obama will be making a webcast (that is, a speech that is delivered via computer over the internet) to the nation’s school kids. That’s right. Young dudes and dudettes throughout this nation will get a chance to hear directly from the leader of the free world, the most powerful man in the world. Our duly elected leader.
Only some of them won’t.
On Monday night, I got a robo-call from Hyper Lad’s school that literally left me with my jaw hanging open in disbelief. I had to relisten to the stupid message to make sure I hadn’t been hearing things. Nope. It really did say what I thought it did.
Here’s what I heard, paraphrased. Wednesday would see a webcast by President Barak Obama made available to the middle schoolers attending Carmel Middle School in Charlotte. Now, the message continued, we understand that some parents won’t want their children to be exposed to this, so we have made special arrangements for instruction for them during this time.
This is more than just stupid. It’s anti-patriotic. It’s ridiculous. It’s. . . It’s. . . I gotta tell you, were I not able to keep taking a breather while I’m writing this, I would not only be left for a loss of words, but I’d probably be writhing on the ground with an anger-induced heart attack. I just can’t believe the stupid of some people.
When George W. Bush was president, a man who’s policies I detested with a burning intensity, he made a similar webcast. I did not take my children out of that event, nor did I even think about doing it. After all, even though I disagreed with almost everything the man ever said, he was still our president. You have to respect the office, if not the man. Not only that, but I don’t remember the schools proactively offering any sort of out for the kids there.
It’s absolutely crazy that people would want their kids to not hear from the president of the United States. I mean, this guy is our duly elected leader. (And, no, I don’t want to hear any of that birth-certificate garbage) No matter what you think of his policies, he still holds the office and deserves our respect. The idea that the school district would support these loonies in their stupid just drives me up a wall.
So, of course, I called the school district to complain. I got a polite thank you for your comment and was summarily brushed off.
Dudes, regardless of your political affiliation, if we don’t all stop this sort of demonization of the other, this blind refusal to admit that the other side is not only human, but might also have our country’s best interests at heart, we’re headed down a very bad path. And this is just another step down that path.
Aaaaarrrrrgggggghhhh!!! Excuse me now, while I go beat my head against another wall.
Share on Facebook
Tags: All The Young Dudes
, Barak Obama
, Carmel Middle School
, Charlotte Mecklenburg School
, Charlotte Mecklenburg School District
, George W Bush
, Hearing Things
, heart attack
, Hot Under The Collar
, Hyper Lad
, Me Picking Fights
, Middle Schooler
, Monday Night
, Powerful Man In The World
, School Kids
, Stupid Message
, United States
, young dude