Thoughts to ponder while fishing

David Chartrand

David Chartrand

The federal government may shut down for a few weeks. The Kansas court system may furlough for seven weeks. I say the rest of us call it a month and go fishing. (EDITOR’S NOTE: OK…I think I will!)

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Dumb Celebrity Quote of the Month:

“I make Jessica Simpson look like a rock scientist.”

— Tara Reid, model-actress

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Dumb Celebrity Quote of the Month, Runner-Up:

“I am for the death penalty. A person who commits terrible acts must get a fitting punishment. That way he learns the lesson for the next time.”

— Britney Spears, singer-songwriter

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A new Pew Center survey adds to the mounting evidence of Internet isolation among America’s elderly and disabled. See  Reasons people give for not going online include:‬

— Nearly a third say they are too old or physically unable to get online because they have poor eyesight or are disabled, along with people who find it too difficult to use.

— 34 percent of non-users think the Internet is not relevant to them. They are not interested, don’t want to use it or don’t need it.

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A New England Journal of Medicine commentary (9.26.13) urges states to use “professionalism”-based rubrics that evaluate physicians on their communication and treatment skills rather than on productivity quotas regarding number of patients seen and accounts billed.  NEJM argues for a similar change in the assessment of American teachers, implementing peer review of classroom skills rather than student assessment test scores.  Current accountability frameworks, NEJM says, have led to demoralization, prompting many teacher and physicians to leave their vocation.

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Polls find that Americans don’t understand Obamacare, a law written in language that resembles plain English in the way an open wound resembles a smile.

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Are you a Kansas graduate student stumped for a thesis or dissertation idea?  Here’s one:  A quantitative analysis of the relationship between retail sales and the presence of giant, inflated gorillas in store parking lots.
Explain your answer in detail. Use lots of charts and graphs.

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Most intelligent read of the week:  What parents need to know about raising a child with special needs. See:


David Chartrand writes humor and commentary from his home in Olathe. • • Twitter@DavidVChartrand

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