February Quick Hits

Every once in a while I find myself at a loss of how to tie together a bunch of interesting things I’ve either seen on television or read online. That’s why I created the “Quick Hits”, to give me a place to pass along links and information that I hope someone else will also find interesting. So, before time runs out on me and I miss all of February without a post, here’s this month’s hits: (Titles are linked to the original stories).

  • America’s Most Expensive Colleges: It’s that time of the year and seniors are starting to get their responses from colleges. The good news of their acceptance letters is often tempered, however, by the reality of how expensive a college education has become. Even if you receive $20,000 in financial aid, depending on where you go to school, your family could still be expected to come up with $25-$30,000 to pay for one year.
  • STEM programs necessary to economic growth: Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, commonly known as STEM, have been getting lots of digital space in education news, and I am definitely in favor of encouraging more of all of these disciplines. While listening to a public radio interview in the car the other day however, I heard a university president make that revealing Freudian slip that I always keep in the back of my mind, whenever I hear of educational ventures that are “in collaboration with private industry”. The president replaced the word “marketing” for “mathematics” without missing a beat, and the interviewer didn’t seem to notice either.
  • Are the Liberal Arts useful?: This piece in the American Conservative makes an interesting distinction between those who are prepared with the necessary reading, writing, math and abstract reasoning skills to succeed in college, and those who aren’t. I would argue that is evidence of the importance of having a strong liberal arts education in the k-12 schools, so that all students who show up to ANY college are getting their money’s worth, no matter what they’re studying.
  • Where is Curiosity?  I am always amazed at how unimpressed people are with our current exploration of space. Maybe it’s because I was born just around the time we last landed on the Moon, that I still look up at the stars with wonder. It all seems not so far away from us on clear dark nights; the stars, the moon and the bright, unblinking planets we can see, seem to be just a few days or weeks away from us. The truth is that even Mars, one of our closest cosmic neighbors is years away, and so we can’t go there. Yet. But our toys can, and over the summer, August 5th to be exact, our latest rover, Curiosity, landed on the red planet and has been sending back info ever since.

Thank you for stopping by and I hope you find something interesting.

Copyright © henry toromoreno, 2013. All rights reserved.