Wharton at UPenn

I just scared myself silly. Do you know how much Wharton costs a year? $51,700.

E has completed his early admit application for Wharton School of Business from University of Pennsylvania.

They will not accept any math below Calculus for transfer credit, so his trig and precal classes go away. This means that without physics, which we had thought he would take but which he may not, he will have 59 hours. So he would still be a sophomore for transfer.

I guess if Wharton does not admit him as a freshman, we can make the decision then on whether he should go ahead and take the physics classes or not. It would put him into junior status, which would take him out of acceptance at Wharton as a transfer. (NOTE: 2000 transfer applications each year with only 175 acceptances.)

He hasn’t graduated from high school, even though he is taking all those college courses. At this point he is finishing up his high school requirements of two years of Spanish and extra math, since he has a goal of a math-related degree.

Poem a day: The Women Who Made Me

Three women,
Grama Bunny, educated, talented.
A master’s from Berkeley during the Depression
And a hand that could draw the world,
Even after a stroke struck.
Grama Haston, tiny, bustling,
The farm wife who hated the farm
But peeled ten pounds of potatoes for my breakfast.
Momma, teenage wife and mother,
Wrestling four kids into submission
While waiting for my father’s attention.
Three women.
There are more.
They are more.
But these three women made me.

Political quotes worth reading

The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest Rome become bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance.
Marcus Tullius Cicero – 55 BC

from The Common Room, the site of much interesting stuff

Some things you wish your friends didn’t tell you.

Like your sons’ had really bad body odor last time they visited. (They’re much better now. Taking two showers a day.)

Like the fingernails will be an issue in the food industry.

Like their son is the valedictorian of his school and has worked his entire high school career.

…I’m pretty sure that’s the green-eyed monster that got into my computer and not me. Er, maybe not.

A definition of a teacher

A teacher is somone who can…

–Give a hug without getting arrested.
–Bandage a knee without calling the school nurse.
–Change a lightbulb without calling the custodian.
–Make the children wash the bathrooms.
–Have a relationship with the principal without getting fired.
–Teach a child’s mind while capturing their heart.
–Teach what they believe in and believe in what they teach.
–Meet the child’s need and not worry about meeting the state guidelines.
–Commit to a lifetime of work without pay.
–Pray! in class, out loud, with the children and the ACLU can’t say a word.

There is is only one that can fill that job description

A teacher is a mom.

from Spunky HomeSchool

Yeah, what she said.

Aunt Norma Land

I am in Aunt Norma Land. She’s a wonderful lady, hardworking, brilliant, and a PhD. She’s also a liberal. Classic liberal. Well, not quite, since she has never ever ever in her long legged life been rich.

But I didn’t know she had infected the whole state with her liberalism.

I just spent two hours listening to a very long winded story about a socialist and how he sang songs about the powerful who hurt the poor. There were some interesting pieces and the songs were often fun, but… The politics was strong and everyone seemed to enjoy it.

I did not know that some of that cruelty went on in the name of breaking the union and there was interesting information in the talk. And the singing was fun.

But overall I felt like I had attended an indoctrination workshop.

So here I am for the next two days, where I thought I would be among like-minded folk and it turns out I’m just here with liberals.

I guess I won’t bring up that I voted for McCain.

Had a car wreck yesterday.

No one was hurt. Both cars have minor damage.

So what happened?

I was in a very slow section. I had already let two 18-wheelers in front of me at various times, so I figured the right lane went away eventually.

Then, after thirty minutes to go seven or eight miles, there were two cars in front of me trying to get over. I wanted to let the red one, the one farther in front, in. But the blue Expedition decided he was going to come into the lane where I was.

I laid on the horn and I kept going forward.

His car hit mine and scraped.

I drive a tiny Saturn.

We both pulled over, though I wasn’t sure he was going to do that. He hit me about two car lengths in back of a police car parked with its lights on to mark the construction going on. The police officer was out of his car watching the construction.

But when we passed that, he did pull over and far enough up that I could pull in behind him.

The female passenger in his car went to get the policeman back at the construction.

He said, “Didn’t you see me?” I said, “Yes, I saw you.” He said, “I didn’t see you.” I told him I didn’t see how he didn’t because I laid on my horn.

I was shaking. My hands were probably waving six inches or so.

He walked down the length of my car and said, “There’s no damage to your car, but there’s a lot to mine.”

Now, that’s stupid. If one car (the bigger car) is damaged, the little one couldn’t have had no damage. But I was so freaked, I didn’t think of that. There certainly was no crushed metal on my car. And I was relieved by that.

Then I followed him to his car where he pointed out a thin (maybe an inch wide) indention that went about three feet on the back door and the back side of the car. It probably went three feet down his car, maybe more.

I went to get my insurance.

He stood over me when I got in the car on the passenger side to get my insurance. I didn’t like that, but didn’t really feel I could tell him to move. So I reached in to get my insurance out of the glovebox.

I’m a CHL holder, but I had been at school so my gun was in the glovebox. I was a little concerned that he would see the gun as a threat. So I was trying not to be obvious about it being there while I got my insurance. But he was standing right over me, so there wasn’t much I could do.

When I closed the glovebox he was at his car. I guess if he saw the gun that it made him back off instead of making him more belligerent, which is what I was afraid would happen.

We both had our insurance cards out. I took his and gave him mine and then moved to set my purse on the hood of the car so that I could get out a pen and a piece of paper. “Hey, you can’t keep my insurance,” he said, loudly. “And you can’t keep mine either,” I said, pointing to his hand where he held mine.

I wrote down some numbers. I wrote down his name. I know his name and I think I wrote the number down correctly, but (bad thing here) I was so shook up I didn’t write down the name of the company. And I could have written the wrong number down. I do know his name, his city, and half (or maybe all) of his license plate. I also may know his street. But I had just started writing things down.

He asked if I had a piece of paper. I said no and waved what I had written on at him. (It was the back of a sales slip.)

He went to his car and got a sales slip from it. I figured I would need to loan him my pen since he didn’t appear to have one.

The police officer came and asked what happened. The other driver said some sentence and I said, “He came into my lane.” The officer said, “One at a time.” So I stopped and let him go first, since he had begun speaking first. Wasn’t that courteous of me? I mean, I’m the lady, but I let the guy go first… (This is relevant in a minute.)

After the guy talked, the officer turned to me. “Which lane were you in?” he asked me. I told him some stuff, not much. I was shaking so much I couldn’t believe I was still standing. He said, “I’m going to have to give you a ticket.”

Then he walked over to look at the guy’s car. I stood where I was. I think I was looking at the insurance card again or something. But I was pretty shook up.

When he and the guy came back the guy said, “I guess I’ll just file it on my own insurance.” The officer said, “If you do that, I won’t have to make a report. Is that okay with you, mam?” Well, I hadn’t seen any damage and I didn’t want a ticket so I said yes.

The other driver said, “You should be more courteous.” And the police officer interrupted him and said it was over.

I got in the car and left.

I then called R, who had been on the phone with me right as/after the accident happened. I didn’t call him, did I? Maybe I had been calling him to say I was almost out of Conroe when it happened. I closed the phone. So he knew there was an accident but not anything else. That would not have been fun. Sorry, honey.

I drove on and realized that my mirror was damaged. The plastic casing was cracked, which is what made the mark on his car, and the mirror wouldn’t move. I couldn’t see out the passenger side mirror.

I also called my dad, who is an attorney, and asked him if I was at fault. I was sure I was, since the officer had said I would get a ticket, but Dad said the other guy was at fault.

So why did the police officer say I was going to get a ticket and why did the other guy leave?

I’m guessing that when they went to look at his car, the police officer told him he would have to give him a ticket. So he told both of us we were going to get tickets. And the other guy didn’t want a ticket any more than I did.

Does the other driver realize he was at fault? I don’t know.

But I wish my mirror worked.


Intense exercise is best for whittling down fat.

The study, which followed 27 middle-aged obese women, found that those who exercised at a high intensity for four months successfully shed fat from their midsections. Women who exercised at a low intensity, however, showed no such changes in body fat.

The findings suggest that for people who want to change their body composition, the intensity of the exercise is matters, researchers report in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.

Strength training helps ease arthritis pain in the knees.

Trauma- or age-related osteoarthritis of the knee results in progressive and often painful fraying and breakdown of cartilage. However, studies indicate that the leg muscle weakness commonly associated with knee osteoarthritis is potentially modifiable by resistance training, Angela K. Lange and colleagues report in the journal Arthritis and Rheumatism.

In up to 75 percent of the studies, the researchers identified clinically meaningful improvements in physical function and strength among resistance training, compared with usual care, participants.

These findings support the efficacy of resistance training in many patients with knee osteoarthritis, Lange and colleagues note.

Tai chi helps cut pain of arthritis in knees.

n their study, one group of people in their 60s with severe knee osteoarthritis performed tai chi for an hour twice a week for 12 weeks while a similar group did the same amount of conventional stretching exercises over the same period.

Those who did tai chi experienced greater pain reduction, less depression and improvements in physical function and overall health, researchers led by Dr. Chenchen Wang of Tufts Medical Center in Boston reported at a meeting of the American College of Rheumatology in San Francisco.

Whoo hoo!

E retook his SAT and brought his score up to 2050. That’s pretty good! He brought it up by himself.

He got his ACT scores back and he is in the 99%. His composite was a 34. (I hate to admit this, but mine was a 26. Does it count that I was so sick I was throwing up after each section of the test and after it was over I slept and threw up for two days? But this is about him.) Whoo hoo!

He had a 35 in English, a 34 in Math, a 34 in reading, and a 33 in science.

The story of a fallen soldier’s plane ride home…

A Captain’s Blog has the story from an airline pilot’s viewpoint of the homecoming of one of our fallen soldiers.

As a commercial pilot, I too see the effects of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Last month I showed up to start a trip and was approached by a gate agent. “Captain, good morning, I wanted to inform you that we have H.R. on this flight”, she said. H.R. stands for human remains. “Are they military?”, I asked. “Yes”, she said. “Is there and escort?”, I asked. “Yes, I already assigned him a seat”, she said. “Would you please tell him to come to the flight deck, you can board him early”, I said.

It goes on from there. Not only was the escort going home with the body, so was the soldier’s family.

Thanks to The Anchoress for the heads up on the story.

Radiocarbon dating problems discussed

Aardvarchaeology has a discussion on some issues with radiocarbon dating. Nothing big, just interesting.

Radiocarbon dates the moment when the tissue concerned stopped receiving carbon from the environment. For a leaf, this is the moment it stopped photosynthesising. For the soft tissues of animals (who, through the food chain, receive carbon taken from the air by plants), it’s a matter of months. For bones, a bit more than that. And for dentine, the interior of teeth, it’s years or decades.

Charcoal is tricky. Every year ring in a tree has a different radiocarbon date. Chop down an old oak, sample the centre of its trunk and some of its leaves, date both samples, and you’ll get a discrepancy of centuries. This is because once a year-ring has formed, it ceases to receive carbon from the living parts of the tree. Therefore, I’ve left my selected charcoal samples to a wood anatomist. Often he can select young twigs or pieces of bark, with a low intrinsic age. Second best, he can select bits of charcoal from a tree species with a short maximum lifespan. Oaks live for centuries, but alders and aspens mostly don’t, so they’re better. Cereal grains and other seeds are excellent, no intrinsic age at all.

Scrutiny of the Media Up

Dan Rather acknowledges that the media is biased about the presidential campaign.

Orson Scott Card calls for the last honest reporter to turn ON the lights, since we are so in the dark from their coverage of this economic crisis.

What is a risky loan? It’s a loan that the recipient is likely not to be able to repay.

The goal of this rule change was to help the poor — which especially would help members of minority groups. But how does it help these people to give them a loan that they can’t repay? They get into a house, yes, but when they can’t make the payments, they lose the house — along with their credit rating.

They end up worse off than before.

This was completely foreseeable and in fact many people did foresee it. One political party, in Congress and in the executive branch, tried repeatedly to tighten up the rules. The other party blocked every such attempt and tried to loosen them.

Furthermore, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae were making political contributions to the very members of Congress who were allowing them to make irresponsible loans. (Though why quasi-federal agencies were allowed to do so baffles me. It’s as if the Pentagon were allowed to contribute to the political campaigns of Congressmen who support increasing their budget.)

Isn’t there a story here? Doesn’t journalism require that you who produce our daily paper tell the truth about who brought us to a position where the only way to keep confidence in our economy was a $700 billion bailout? Aren’t you supposed to follow the money and see which politicians were benefiting personally from the deregulation of mortgage lending?

I have no doubt that if these facts had pointed to the Republican Party or to John McCain as the guilty parties, you would be treating it as a vast scandal. “Housing-gate,” no doubt. Or “Fannie-gate.”

Instead, it was Senator Christopher Dodd and Congressman Barney Frank, both Democrats, who denied that there were any problems, who refused Bush administration requests to set up a regulatory agency to watch over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and who were still pushing for these agencies to go even further in promoting sub-prime mortgage loans almost up to the minute they failed.

As Thomas Sowell points out in a TownHall.com essay entitled “Do Facts Matter?” ( http://snipurl.com/457townhall_com] ): “Alan Greenspan warned them four years ago. So did the Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers to the President. So did Bush’s Secretary of the Treasury.”

These are facts. This financial crisis was completely preventable. The party that blocked any attempt to prevent it was … the Democratic Party. The party that tried to prevent it was … the Republican Party.

There is more. (Card is a Democrat.)

I am Joe the Plumber.

I ought to be a liberal, since I am in academics.

But I remember being poor and I know that my father working eighty and ninety hours a week is why we were able to eat and why we had clothes to wear. We didn’t get or take a government handout. And my father made it. He’s in the upper class now.

When he started he was a farm boy living in a car while going to school. He married my mom, a sophomore in high school, while he was still homeless. We rode the bus for years because we couldn’t afford a car, even when we had to walk a mile to get to the bus stop.

My first home was the same as my annual salary. Our house now is only 1.3x our salary. We didn’t buy a big risky house. We bought what we could reasonably afford. (And sometimes it was a stretch.)

I believe that working hard can get you the American Dream. And I think if you aren’t working hard, then you don’t deserve the American Dream and we don’t owe it to you to supply you with our money so that you can have it.

I am Joe the Plumber.

I read some great commentary on the Joe the Plumber movement from Varifrank, about how folks asked why he is being targeted. Good stuff.