Friday, December 17, 2010

Top 10 Rants of 2010

1) Fluoride, an OK idea at best for protecting teeth, should not be dumped into the public water supply. Dumping hydrofluorosilicic acid, an industrial waste generated by the phosphate industry, into the water supply makes as much sense as putting rocket fuel in breast milk.

2) Vaccines, a great idea, should not be mandatory for school unless the disease it prevents is communicable in a school setting. Unless the students are involuntarily boffing in the hallways, Hepatitis B vaccine and Gardisil should not be mandatory. Not saying they're not a good idea--just saying they should not be mandatory.

3) College should be for expanding ideas, sharing thoughts, and learning. If you're going to college to get a job, well, don't look at the statistics. You'll only get depressed. If you're going to learn about snake poems, you're in luck. D.H. Lawrence's words haunt me still.

4) Bottled water, tainted by BPA and a ridiculous price tag, should be sought by the same people who seek Trinity Yachts and Sevruga caviar. Those of us who paddle and drink ale should just use tap water. Not only is it safer, it's a magnitude cheaper as well. And no, there is no (as in NO!) evidence that you need 8 glasses of water a day.

5) SMART Boards are fun, as are yo-yo's, and about as useful in a classroom. Once you get past the groovy factor, neither contributes much to thought. Invest your money in the poor man's white board instead. If you can't teach well using the back of a napkin, you can't teach well.

6) Walk. Really, just walk. Driving will get you killed.

7) Milk is for baby mammals. Cow's milk is for calves, human milk for infants. This should be glaringly obvious. That it's not is a testament the National Dairy Council's financial clout. Got Milk? should be replaced by Got a Brain?

8) Only an industrial society could think that developing a vaccine from a healthy aborted baby merits no debate. The rubella vaccine here in the States uses cell lines from abortuses. This is not the rant of a mad man, nor the rant of a frothing Catholic.

9) If your young child spends more time in front of monitors than at the family dinner table, you will get the child you deserve. Parenting is hard, but it matters. Get it right.

10) The designated hitter rule destroyed Major League Baseball.

The cow boob is from Natalie Dee, of course....

Runners up? Howard Gardner's intelligences,
BP's cleaning efforts, the NJEA, American Exceptionalism, unmanned drones,
the raised ceiling on estate taxes, and the striped bass' insistence on staying just off shore this fall. Really....


Jenny said...

Addendum to #9: If you spend more time at monitors than you do at the dinner table (at least while your children are awake)...

John T. Spencer said...

I can't say I agree with every one of these or even that I want to debate the parts that I disagree with. (I have yet to find a suitable substitute for milk in coffee)

However, an absolute Amen to #9 and #10.

Underground said...

Nice list! Coming from the queen of lists! It starts off with a thought, and then ends up becoming a list.

I don't have kids, but we talk about something we learned everyday that they are going to share at the dinner table. More of them eat at the dinner table than we realize. Of course, one thing on one of my lists is When parents ask you what you learned in school today--think of something and share it--they just want to have a conversation. They control the money, humor them.

Anonymous said...

Okay so in my school they are "involuntarily boffing" in the hallway (2 rape convictions in 2 years) - one of them a school employee and son of a board member. the other a 19 year old in a "credit recovery" class with a 15 year old in Saturday school. Should the school district be providing the vaccines free and mandating their use? Would this excuse their negligence, like the health warning on cigarette packages?

David said...

I laughed out loud at your comment about the Smart board. Boy do I agree.

doyle said...

Dear Jenny,

Agreed. I need to add the Jenny corollary.

Dear John,

Oh, I've no doubt there's no suitable substitute. There's no suitable substitute for a lot of things that we like but shouldn't be doing. Else why would we do them? =)

#10 signaled the end of western civilization as we know it....

Dear Underground,

I hope school is a big topic at dinner. It should be. Nationally, few kids (~20%) eat dinner regularly (>5 days/week)with their family. Sad.

Dear Anonymous,

If true, you got bigger problems than can be fixed by a vaccine. I'm all for vaccines, and I'm all for mandatory vaccines for dangerous diseases that can be transmitted in a functioning classroom.

I'm strongly opposed to mandatory vaccines for students for diseases not spread inside functioning schools. I do not oppose the vaccines per se.

Dear David,

It would be funnier if the SMART Boards didn't cost so much....

Anonymous said...

Yeah it's true. I'm glad to be able to make everyone else feel better about their schools.

Leslie said...

Hi Michael--another runner up: "early detection is NOT the best prevention." I know you've written about that many times, but tonight on a writing blog I was dismayed to read an imploring comment, in an article on Elizabeth Edwards' book, directed at women to get their mammograms, because "With the amazing advances in imaging and treatment, breast cancer detected at its earliest stage is 95% curable."

Banging my head on my desk at the "amazing" ignorance of that.