Whatever curious and interesting subject strikes my fancy, be it silly or serious, gets posted for your reading pleasure.

Saturday, 20 August 2016

School Daze

Oh my, it's that time of year  again when  pupils of all ages are just getting ready to go back to those legalized mental torture chambers, er, educational facilities called 'school' and 'college'.

Even now when I see Back To School ads I still panic and think, "Flip it!  Summer just barely got started!" only to remind myself I haven't attended any kind of school or similar environment in years and don't have to worry about it. Yeeeessss!  Still, I have fun looking through all the cool new school supplies that come out, that part you never outgrow.  I hear Trapper Keepers are back in.  Whoo hoo! Too bad they don't sell them in Portugal.

Anyway, to mark this time of panic and new school supply shopping sprees with a dash of humour, I've shared a few photos I've discovered online taken from students' exams, homework questions, and other school-themed memes that might make you smile.

This one sums up my first sentence exactly.

Just in case that wasn't clear enough, Jonathan Boothe from the Class of 2015 will spell it out for you.

Here's one reason school (college, whatever) can be such a drag: you get stuck with a group project, and you end up being the person on the far left of this meme a good 99% of the time.  What part of 'group work' actually ends up being 'GROUP'?

They should rename these 'One Man Group Projects' for the sake of accuracy.  (Or 'woman' in my case!)

Obviously, through 'work group' they were preapring us for the wild, wonderful realities of the 'Work Place'.

Well, whoever turned in this project sheet below obviously was one of those 99% percenters in a previous work group assignment.   Instead of identifying 'all the students with whom you worked on producing your solutions' as requested, they decided to go 'Lone Wolf'.  Brilliant!  Wonder what the lab teacher thought of this brave soul?

Speaking of doodles, that's par for the course.  Notebooks always get doodled on, and unfortunately some students also scribble on school books.  (Not me! I didn't do that dastardly deed!) However, I can't help but find this school book vandalism rather inventive:

However, I must admit, kids in the Far East are far advanced in the fine art of textbook doodling.

Here's a 'Before' and 'After' picture of  text book illustration which has undergone a makeover by one bored student.

Then, let's not forget the original answers penned on homework assignments with examples ranging from the genius to the strange, to the outright 'huh?' variety.

"Pattern Detection Quiz: How is the brain like a cantaloupe? List several ways."

The only answer given: "It is delicious."

Well, the pattern I detect here is mental derangement.  It looks like we have a future Hannibal Lecter answering this quiz, folks!

Hey!  The children may be our future, but we shouldn't dump our problems on them yet.  This kid below nailed it.

Here's an English grammar assignment in which an opposite must be offered to the word on the left.  What does the student say is opposite to 'original'?  China!  Well, with all the bootlegs, pirate goods and knock-offs pouring out of that country, you can't blame them for making the observation.    However, am I the only one who thinks the answer given by the teacher is not quite right either?  'Artificial' is actually the opposite of 'natural', not 'original', but I'm not an accredited high-school teacher, so what do I know?

 Okay, here's another 'list an opposite' assignment.

The opposite of the prefix 'pro' is 'noob'.

Not a bad word actually, even if it's incorrect.  I think 'contra-' was meant as the opposite prefix.

Still, there could be loads of uses for this.  If you're not a 'pro' you're a noob.  Has a nice ring to it somehow.

 UPDATE! Indeed, this informal slang word has made it into the online Cambridge and Oxford dictionaries, so it is useful after all! Who would have thought?  This noob-blogger sure didn't.  See?  You learn something every day.


Art class 101? At least this was an honest answer! This person knew their limitations.

Since we're showcasing kids giving honest answers, Frankie was brutally frank about his life.

 Indeed, why would you fill a 'super fun' aquarium with barnacles instead of seahorses?

Yes, it is one thing to set intellectual challenges, but obviously this pupil deemed the question was questioning their intelligence and didn't mind showing it!

Have at it, kid.  Whoever came up with this was asking for it anyway.

Again, we have a thinker here!

 Time-changing adventurer, I love you.

  Hmm, a name your 'hero' or 'heroine' assignment.  I have to agree, 'Harry Potter' is quite addictive reading.

Of course, you have those smart ones who dare to pose challenging answers in return, and get top marks too!

Reminds me of the legendary case that happened at my college during the philosophy department exams.  One question given to the students literally was:

"Is this a question?"

One student had the guts to write down, "Is this an answer?" and walked out of the exam hall like a Boss.  They Aced the exam.  Seriously.  I'm not kidding.

Ah, yes, exams.  Of course I'd study, but then, there was always that one question that despite all my efforts to recall everything I learned pertaining to the subject, I would still draw a mental blank, stressfully staring at that stupid exam sheet while the clock ticked away the few remaining mintues left.  I admire those brave rebels who drew something back in return, even if it wasn't the correct answer.  It was a daring, gutsy...SOMETHING.   Bravo!


The hours they spent teaching us this 'quadradic function' crud!  To think I used to know how to do things like this!  Yep, I agree, Tetris is more fun.

By the way kids, you never are going to need to know what the 'vertex of the parabola' is ever again. Unless you're going to be some kind of rocket scientist or high falootin' laser engineer or moon base architect, that sort of thing. You catch my drift.

As a 'Lord of the Rings' fan, I love this artistic rendering.  Too bad the teacher didn't appreciate Alex's inventive doodles of the Eye of Saron and Mount Doom.

 Question one: explain how the Cold War started, in 100 words.  The answer is a big fat NO from angry No-Meme dude!

Don't blame you kid, we're all sick of talking about wars.   Too bad about the F though.

 Wouldn't it be funny if the pupil who was requested to discuss the Cold War in the previous exam did this doodle too?  First class chemistry test doodle!  Right on!  Don't share your secret formulas with the rest of the world.

  Boy, this kid was really stuck on 'draw a human body' and show where the following organs and sundry  body parts are located.

True, the question didn't say draw an 'exact replica' of a human body, so a tribute to Picasso's 'Guernica' is the next best thing, right?

 Art is in the eye of the beholder~ if the artist says it's a body, it's a body.

This is Picasso's 'Guernica' ~ just in case you wanted to make a comparison. 

Yes, there are some really artistic students out there.  Mathematics is not their calling.  They might have had better luck drawing the ship in the earlier example shown above.

Sometimes, the teachers have no qualms sketching back a reply.  It just makes things more interesting.

 Apprently, the student was drawing himself strapping on a rocket pack to escape from this mathematical question.  Teacher asks "Y U no try" and doodled the correct equation.

Y u no try?

Umm, because advanced algebra and trigonometry type stuff is hard and not everyone has the patience to learn this twaddle which they might never use again?

 Here, a student has reported a volcanic eruption has just occured and has blocked out the question so they can't read or answer it.

The teacher drew in a stick figure of an island native with the text: 'frightened villager fleeing from your answer.'

 Good call, Teacher.

 Again, the angry 'NO' dude has reappeared.

 Teacher replies with a skeptical looking self portrait complete with questionable 'cool cat' spelling.

Then, there are some really awesome teachers out there that actually give credit for a student's desperate creativity.  'Trigonometric Forms Man' got a +1.  Cheers!

The student here couldn't be bothered describing the characters in a novel and all their convoluted relationships, so wrapped up his answer under a big question mark:

"I believe that sums up my response quickly and accurately without wasting your time reading a long drawn out answer which would not make any sense what-so-ever."

The kid got a mark for honesty!  However, I wonder if the teacher spotted the cynicism in the student's rather droll, long-winded answer.

Another honest answer, that also got a mark!

Again, an extra mark just because the teacher was nice.

How about this for extra marks?  Student draws in a ninja preventing 'any grading at less than 100%.'   The student scored 28 out of 30  marks and was two points short of earning 100%, so what did the teacher do?  Surrendered to the ninja's awesome protective martial arts skills with the word 'Scary!' and gave the two much-needed points, then added a smiley face as an extra touch.  Way to go!

You remember teachers like these, they help you get through the chaos that is called 'school'.

“It was only high school after all, definitely one of the most bizarre periods in a person’s life. How anyone can come through that time well adjusted on any level is an absolute miracle.”  ~   Brushstrokes of a Gadfly

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Hillary, about those Nuclear Codes ...

Hillary is convinced that Trump is someone who should not be given the nuclear codes and thinks it would be a terrifying situation if he had his finger on the nuclear button.

Well, let me remind everyone of  Hillary's track record of pushing buttons way back in 2009 after Russia invaded Georgia, an action which 'crashed' relations between Russia and the US. 

As a gesture of goodwill to restore these former amicable relations, then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton presented the Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, with a symbolic 'reboot' button, which went horribly wrong.

Just see for yourself:

Transcript of video:

Hillary Clinton: “ I wanted to present you want represents what President Obama, Vice President Biden and I have been saying, and that is: we want to 'reset' our relationship. And secretary, we will do it together!”

* she presents the symbolic button to him *

Lavrov:“Thank you very much.”

Hillary: “You're very welcome: We worked hard to get the right Russian word. You think we got it?”

Lavrov: “You got it wrong.”

Hillary: “I got it wrong.”

Lavrov: “It should be “perezagruzka” [the Russian word for reset]," said Lavrov."This says ‘peregruzka,’ which means ‘overcharged.’” (Side note: it can also mean 'overload'. E.A.Bucc.)

* Laughter *

Clinton: "We won't let you do that to us, I promise. We mean it and we look forward to it."

Lavrov: “Okay, thank you very much. I will put it on my desk.”


In unison, the whole world slapped its forehead in one, big face-palm moment.

What makes this whole idea of a 'typo' more suspicious is that according to the book “HRC:
State Secrets and the Rebirth of Hillary Clinton” by Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes (Random House February 2015)  it was joke-loving Clinton's senior advisor Philippe Reines who came up with the idea in the first place, but made a strange admission in that he had : “... sidestepped traditional protocol by not asking State’s team of translators to help with the project from the start. He later said he was unaware such resources were available to him.”

Are you kidding me? I am only a solitary American citizen in no way employed in a diplomatic position, and even I know that the US government has tip-top translators in its service.  How on earth can a country be expected to maintain international relations with other countries without translators? Come on people! You can't tell me Reines did not know the US would have had expert Russian translators on call, especially since the time of the Cold War!

But, we find out he did seek out assistance from some US experts on Russia, which makes this whole 'I didn't know I could get translators' excuse questionable. Authors Allen and Parnes have more to reveal about the incident:

[Reines] had asked NSC Russia director Mike McFaul for the word and both McFaul and State Russia expert Bill Burns signed off on the spelling...

Yikes! So, at the time we had two more in our government who had professional and diplomatic experience with Russian relations and therefore the Russian language ALSO BOTHCING UP THE TRANSLATION OF ONE WORD? This is very curious indeed.

You would nearly think they were purposely trying to insult Russia and destroy relations further. In fact, maybe that was their intention in the first instance.  Just think about it.

If the US was truly interested in restoring peaceful relations at that point, why did Hillary instead of politely apologising to the Russian Foreign Secretary for the blunder of the supposed typo referring to 'overcharging' by saying “Don't worry, we will not let the at happen to you', did the opposite and returned the symbolic reboot gesture with a threat: We won't let you do that to us, I promise. We mean it and we look forward to it.”

Strange how Hillary adamantly declared her team 'worked very hard' to get the 'right word' ~ and yes, Reines sought advice from NSC Russia director Mike McFaul and former US Ambassador to Russia, Bill Barnes, on the 'right' Russian word, and yet they all together 'accidentally' made a huge diplomatic blunder. It's only one word on button: how could they get it so wrong ~ unless they meant to?

With that button came one little word and a veiled threat under the cover of friendship~just smile while you knife them. A classic example of how a government can destroy relations even further.

Allen and Parnes then follow up and describe the humorous aftermath of the 'Reboot Button Affair', which is anything but laughable if you read between the lines:

“Reines tried to correct the error, asking Russia’s ambassador to Switzerland to give the gift back temporarily so that a new label – with the right word – could be printed and affixed to it.
“This is a gift from the United States. I don’t think I can give it back to you,” the ambassador replied with a smile. “If I did, my minister would be very upset.”
“If your minister doesn’t give that back, my minister,” Reines said, referring to Hillary, “is going to send me to Siberia.”

Not only that, authors Allen and Parnes state that the gaudy red and yellow 'reset' button was filched from the swimming pool or jacuzzi at the hotel.

So there you have it, The symbolic button was filched. What! Our government raking in millions of tax dollars couldn't shell out to buy a new button for this diplomatic gesture? If that isn't insulting. This is how Hillary and her staff tried to 'reset' peaceful relations with Russia? On the contrary!

It seems she and her diplomatic team were doing everything to add insult to injury without looking too obvious to the rest of the world under the cover of a joke, and what is more ominous, Russia was reluctant to give the button back to rectify the spelling: they had been given a 'gift' from the United States and said it would seem rude to return it, but in fact, I wouldn't be surprised if they were keeping it as a reminder of the insult they had received. As they say, beware Greeks bearing gifts, or it is it this case, Americans?  Ouch!

According to another BBC article dated March 2009,  Hillary and Lavrov tried to get over the gaffe later, Hillary stating: "The minister corrected our word choice. But in a way, the word that was on the button turns out to be also true. … We are resetting, and because we are resetting, the minister and I have an 'overload' of work."

But, try as they might, it's obvious the damage was done.

As recent as June 3, 2015, an article in the Washington Times  relates Foreign Secretary Lavrov is tired of people asking him about the button, declaring “it was the invention of Hillary Clinton and (the) Obama administration.

If you haven't noticed, relations between our two countries have deteriorated further since then, and Hillary has the audacity to maintain Trump shouldn't have his fingers on the nuclear buttons!

Okay, maybe you think that I'm making a big deal out of a symbolic button that didn't do anything when it was pushed, but please reconsider: as I said in my last blog post 'A Plea to the Next President of the United States', a symbol is important and image is everything. Successful diplomacy often hinges on the smallest but most significant symbolic gestures.

If Hillary and her team couldn't even handle a symbolic 'reset' button like this and in fact, made our nation look idiotic in front of the whole world, possibly further jeopardising peaceful relations with Russia in the process, and it would appear they did it on purpose, what ever makes her think we want her to have access to the nuclear codes? She thinks Trump is dangerous and will unsettle world peace? 
And I quote: “He (Trump) is not just unprepared. He is temperamentally unfit to hold an office that requires knowledge, stability and immense responsibility.”

Excuse me? It is said people accuse others of what they themselves are guilty of, better look in the mirror Hillary. You were lacking knowledge, stability, and had forgotten your immense responsibility as Secretary of State when you threaten Russia at the very moment you were supposedly trying to restore relations between our countries.

You know what Hillary? NOBODY should have access to nuclear codes of any kind. Unfortunately, it is the sad state of the world today that humanity now has such horrific destructive power at its fingertips.

According to your favourite line you mentioned at the DNC, it takes a village to build and hold fast a nation, but I think you forgot it also takes a village to produce an idiot capable of destroying the whole world on their whim. No more buttons for you.

 Let us pray you never get your hands on the nuclear codes, period.

(Update! Blurting out our country's nuclear response time to the world during the Third Presidential Debate, which is Top Secret information, only proves my point: you are unfit to hold the highest office the nation. Thanks to Wikileaks, we not only know you are a traitor that has sold her country out, you can't keep your mouth shut when yu're supposed to!)

I'm tired of the Clinton campaign and the 'Controlling Machine' of America offending me and insulting my intelligence, and I can state with certainity I am not the only American offended in this manner.