Come on ride the train….

November 12, 2009

Mass Transit of the future?

I am linking to a blog post that links to a full article at the BBC.  I just wanted to give credit to the author at Random Thoughts for finding and summarizing this article.

It’s a seemingly common sense idea, at least to myself.  Allow multiple vehicles on the highway, through a set of sensors and guides, to form a sort of self driving train with their vehicles.  This would allow them to relax, read, eat, talk on the phone, text, etc  while their car followed along in the train.  Jump to the article to read more about it. Pretty interesting I think.  Maybe we will see this in the US in a few years?  I have less to explain/summarize about this article.  It is best read on its own I feel. Enjoy!


What Health Care Reform Means for Mental Health

Mental Health patients have suffered from many odd and restrictive “rules” when dealing with health care providers over the years.  Higher co-pays, a limited number of visits covered by insurance, no coverage if a diagnosis is deemed “pre-existing”, etc.  The issue with pre-existing conditions obviously extends across all areas like cancer, diabetes, and other recurring or chronic diseases.  But, this article is focused on the benefits that will be gained for those needing mental health care.  It’s pretty cut and dry.  To the point.  I think this is an issue that has needed to be addressed in some form for years.  I know many people don’t agree with the government’s involvement in health care reform.  Either way, this will be a win for those people who can’t afford proper care for mental/emotional conditions. Enjoy!

Google offers free Wi-Fi in airports for the holidays

Starting November 10th and lasting through January 15, Google will be offering free Wi-Fi in 47 airports across the US.  How sweet, huh?  Boingo Wireless, a company that offers Wi-Fi at airports for a charge, will be working in conjunction with Google to bring travelers a little relief to their wallets.  You can view the list after jumping to the article.  I was surprised not to find a few big players in there (JFK, Laguardia, O’Hare).  I’m guessing companies like Boingo, that agreed to this, did not want to lose their biggest thoroughfares.  Still, thanks Google!


P.S. Google and Virgin America have teamed up to offer free Wi-Fi on all Virgin America flights through January 15 as well! Here is the info on that.

Want to Go Back to School? A New Tax Credit Could Help

Have you, a friend, or a family member been desiring to return to school?  The American Opportunity Tax Credit is here for the 2009 and 2010 tax seasons.  It is a nice bump up from the current Hope Credit.  Not only does it allow for $700 more tax credit to students, it also applies the the first four years of post-secondary education as opposed to the first two years with the Hope Credit.  Not only does this credit apply towards tuition, you may also include expenses such as books, supplies, and equipment. The one other exciting addition is the inclusion of online education with accredited universities and colleges.

I for one am very excited about this. I plan to jump back in for the spring semester and this new credit has arrived just in time.  Tuition is hard enough to cover while trying to stay afloat with general bills… not to mention the horrendous cost of books these days.  The fact that I can basically have the cost of books reimbursed is a beautiful thing.  Jump on over the this blog post and see what it’s all about!

Call for a Revision in Teaching Methodology

The ideas put forth in this blog posting discuss a new approach to teaching methods (as you likely derived from the title).  The main idea here is a more dialectic approach.  This means more discussion and debate in the classroom as opposed to the traditional “teacher speak – student listen” methods.  Allowing the students to become more involved fits very well with the stages of their development emotionally and mentally.  As adolescents they are naturally becoming more inclined to speak their minds and question information before readily accepting it.

Also, the author mentions a two-tiered system of learning, which I personally found to be brilliant and exciting.  Students obviously will need to be informed on a subject before being able to debate or discuss said subject.  The idea is that students would attend a class, such as European History, where they would listen and absorb while the teacher taught in a traditional manner.  After this class period, their next period would be a debate and discussion based class focused on what was discussed in the previous period.  I would have loved that in school and I think many young minds would respond very well to this.

He briefly mentions the fact that introducing children to this debate/discussion style of learning early on could also possibly help alleviate some of the major issues of anxiety and shyness of today’s youth.

I can’t do the article justice in my own words and it is not the end-all save-all of ideas but I do find it to be a great step in the right direction.  It is lengthy but a highly recommended read.  Enjoy! Let me know what you think! Leave me some comments!

Philosophy Word of the Day – Action Theory

“Stressed” is “Desserts” Spelled Backwards!

This article discusses, from a first hand view, the problems veterans of all ages are having these days when dealing with the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).  Many men and women who have selflessly served our country are turned away for countless procedures on a daily basis.  Denied coverage and sent on wild goose chases when attempting to get to the root of the problem.
Let me know what you think!  Your thoughts are very important!