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Oh, And Here’s Some More
Jun 6th, 2012 by Mike

Reader’s Digest also published:

  • 20 percent of Americans think that the sun revolves around the earth.
  • Less than half (47 percent) of Americans don’t know how long it takes for the earth to revolve around the sun.
  • Only 59 percent of adults know that the earliest humans and dinosaurs did not live at the same time.

 

© 2012, J. M. Erickson. All rights reserved.

Quick!
Jun 3rd, 2012 by Mike

What are the three branches of government?

Name at least two members of the supreme court.

Point to Louisiana on a map?

The majority of Americans—three in four—identify Larry, Curly and Moe as the Three Stooges. That’s certainly understandable. But only two out of five respondents can correctly identify the executive, legislative, and judicial as the three branches of government.

More than three quarters of Americans can name at least two of the seven dwarfs, while less than a quarter can name two members of the Supreme Court.

Less than six months after Hurricane Katrina, one third of those surveyed couldn’t point to Louisiana on a map.1

Really? And I thought Jay-Walking was a set-up.

© 2012, J. M. Erickson. All rights reserved.

- - - - - footnotes - - - - -
  1. Source Readers’ Digest, June 2012, citing cnn.com, business wire.com, and foxnews.com as their sources. []
Cheer Up! 17 Reasons It’s a Great Time to Be Alive | Reader’s Digest
Mar 20th, 2012 by Mike

Do you ever get depressed reading or watching the news or discussing current events with a neighbor or friend? I do sometimes. Maybe the problem is with the source of our information. Optimism doesn’t sell newspapers, get viewers, or win elections.

We’ve been lied to, folks. Things are better than they were 50 years ago. The gold old days weren’t as good as the good now days.

Check out Matt Ridley’s article in the April Reader’s Digest:

Cheer Up! 17 Reasons It’s a Great Time to Be Alive | Reader’s Digest.

© 2012, J. M. Erickson. All rights reserved.

Cost of College
Apr 6th, 2011 by Mike

“According to the College Board’s Trends in College Pricing 2010, the average cost of undergraduate education at an in-state, four-year, public institution was $16,140 — a 6.1-percent increase from 2009.”1

Wow! Who can afford that? No wonder students rack up thousands in debt.

© 2011, J. M. Erickson. All rights reserved.

- - - - - footnotes - - - - -
  1. MOAA News Exchange, April 6, 2100 []
Almost Christian
Sep 14th, 2010 by Mike

An excerpt from “The Ivy Jungle Network Campus Ministry Update September 2010”:

Princeton Seminary Professor Kendra Creasy Dean shares what she considers some depressing news in her new book, Almost Christian. As a researcher in the National Study for Youth and Religion, she helped conduct in depth interviews with more than 3300 teenagers who call themselves Christians.  Her findings show that most “Christian” kids are indifferent and inarticulate about their faith. The faith they do discuss often boils down to what has been labeled “moralistic therapeutic deism” – a belief in a generally good God who exists primarily to help make people happy.   This “imposter” faith contributes to the massive departure of so many young people from the church during their high school and college years.  Too often parents and churches have low expectations for teenagers.  Too many youth groups are designed to keep students out of trouble and simply being nice – not truly exploring the faith.  However, she did find some who had a passion for their faith and an ability to talk about it in a meaningful way.  These committed teenagers most often came from Mormon or evangelical backgrounds.  She identified four common traits among this group: They have a personal story about God they can share, a deep connection to a faith community, a sense of purpose and a sense of hope about their future (CNN August 27, 2010)

© 2010 – 2013, J. M. Erickson. All rights reserved.

Leaving Church Behind
Sep 6th, 2010 by Mike

According to Barna, only about 25% of teenagers are active in a youth group; a statistic that has remained relatively flat for the last decade. Lifeway Christian Resources reports that many students drop out around age 16. Their research indicates that many teens do not find church relevant or think it meets the needs of young people today. While in the past they may have come for free food and entertainment, today’s teens don’t want to be relegated to basement pizza parties. They are looking for significance and connections. Sadly, the numbers fall again when they leave for college. (USA Today August 11, 2010)1

© 2010, J. M. Erickson. All rights reserved.

- - - - - footnotes - - - - -
  1. published in the Ivy Jungle Network Newsletter, August 2010 []
History and Governments
Jul 7th, 2009 by Mike

“The marvel of all history is the patience with which men and women submit to burdens unnecessarily laid upon them by their governments.” —William H. Borah

© 2009, J. M. Erickson. All rights reserved.

Starving Dogs
Jul 6th, 2009 by Mike

“If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man.”  —Mark Twain

© 2009, J. M. Erickson. All rights reserved.

Officials
Apr 3rd, 2009 by Mike

Ok, so how many more tax dodgers will be nominated for major government positions? Maybe we should start an Internet pool.

© 2009, J. M. Erickson. All rights reserved.

Begging The Question
Jan 16th, 2009 by Mike

One thing that irks me is talking heads completely butchering the English language. Many times they take a term that means one thing then use it incorrectly to mean another. For example, the word momentarily means for a moment. How many times a day do you hear an announcer say, “We’ll be back momentarily?” The announcer means in a moment but is actually saying for a moment.

One phrase that talking heads misuse that really annoys me is begs the question to mean asks the question. In fact, begging the question is a logical fallacy wherein the arguer tries to prove a point by relying on a premise1 that proves the point. Here’s what Wikipedia has to say on the topic.

In logic, begging the question has traditionally described a type of logical fallacy … in which the proposition to be proved is assumed implicitly or explicitly in one of the premises...

In contemporary usage, “begging the question” often refers to an argument where the premises are as questionable as the conclusion.

In popular usage, “begging the question” is often used to mean that a statement invites another obvious question. This usage is stated to be incorrect in The Oxford Guide to English Usage, 1st edition; “raises the question” is suggested as a more appropriate alternative. Improper usage of the term may to some observers make the user appear uneducated; this is presumably the opposite effect the user intends by using the term. [Emphasis mine]

Are you surprised the talking heads get stuff like this wrong?

© 2009, J. M. Erickson. All rights reserved.

- - - - - footnotes - - - - -
  1.  something assumed or taken for granted []
The Point: Well pay for you to die
Jul 26th, 2008 by Mike

I found this over at The Point blog. They’re quoting The Eugene, Oregon, Register-Guard:

After her oncologist prescribed a cancer drug that could slow the cancer growth and extend her life, [Barbara] Wagner was notified that the Oregon Health Plan wouldn’t cover the treatment, but that it would cover palliative, or comfort, care, including, if she chose, doctor-assisted suicide. . . .

Are these folks in Oregon crazy?


© 2008, J. M. Erickson. All rights reserved.

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