Blogosphere

Digital pedagogy brings technology to the classroom

Manitou Messenger - 49 min 59 sec ago

As technology continues to improve and spread, it is only natural for it to arrive in the classroom. As computers, tablets and smartphones become more readily available, it is becoming easier and easier for students to use the Internet and to communicate with the world, especially through social media sites such as Facebook, Vine and Twitter. Dr. Brian Croxall, a professor at Emory University, has used the Internet in several ways to challenge his students both inside and out of the classroom.

On Thursday, Feb. 19, Dr. Brian Croxall presented “Assignments & Architecture: Pedagogy in the Digital Age.” Dr. Croxall started out his lecture stating that he had four lessons.

Lesson one: go public with the work. Dr. Croxall explained that in order to make his students work harder he makes them keep a blog that the entire class can see and read, as well as the rest of the world. His reason for this extreme approach is that he knows that students will work harder when their peers can view their work. Students can wait until the last minute to write a paper and do decently, because they know their audience is just one professor. But when the student’s peers have to judge their work the student is more inclined to work hard because they care more about what their friends think that what their teacher thinks.

One of the ways Dr. Croxall uses the Web in his classroom is he makes his students acquire a domain and blog. An alternative to a blog could be the Moodle forum, but the problem with this method is the rest of the world cannot interact. With a blog, both students in the classroom and students in classes at other schools across the country can contribute as well as people who simply share an interest. Another example of technology in the classroom is building an iPad app. The app does not have to be functional; rather, the students can storyboard one of the books they read in class.

In response to a question of what he would like to see in the classroom, Dr. Croxall said, “Show me something totally new.” Nothing is worse than for a class to do the same repetitive projects and to write papers on topics frequently done before. Instead professors and teachers should work on developing new innovative projects that incorporate multimedia, because not only do they build experience with working with different forms of technology, but they also open up the world. College tends to be a place separated from the rest of the world. It is easy to forget in the midst of everything that there is a whole world beyond the campus life.

Lesson two is build with a team. A lot of the work in Dr. Croxall’s class is group-based. The problem with group-based work is sometimes there are a few students who do all the work and a student who does little to no work. In an attempt to compensate for this, Dr. Croxall requires student evaluations.

For groupwork, Dr. Croxall makes the projects too difficult for an individual student to handle on his or her own. This way he can reward the students who do their work and penalize the students who do not. Group work is a useful practice in college, because after students graduate, they will most likely acquire a job that requires them to work with other people. Group work allows students to build the experience they need to be better prepared for the world.

Lesson three is “form follows function.” Considering Dr. Croxall is professor of digital humanities and English, some of the projects he has outlined for his class may not be applicable to classes from the biology or political science department. Dr. Croxall is excited for other professors to start developing their own projects within their own fields in the hopes of using them in his own classroom. It would be interesting to see professors across the country build projects off each other,  resulting in new and interesting ideas.

This leads to lesson four: build something that hasn’t been built before. School is redundant as it is. New and innovative assignments could lead to inspiration that would lead others to challenge themselves in new and creative ways.

Our world is changing and it is changing fast. Technology is spreading and students need to know how to use it. Dr. Croxall’s talk on incorporating multimedia into the classroom was exciting, interesting and hopefully inspirational to others.

briche1@stolaf.edu

Categories: Colleges

Obróbka skrawaniem w rękach profesjonalistów z nglmachining.com

Ole Store Restaurant - 2 hours 9 min ago

Solidne usługi obróbki skrawaniem niezbędne są przy kreowaniu maszyn, struktur stalowych lub innych detalów, które w przemyśle mają odgrywać główną rolę. Tu na horyzoncie pojawia się Mobile zerspanung - jednostka gospodarcza, jaka kompleksowo zajmuje się obróbką skrawaniem. Co więcej, firma oferuje mobilną obróbkę skrawaniem - przedsiębiorstwo posiada nowy oraz niezwykle drogi sprzęt, który pozwala osiągnąć najlepsze wyniki powiązane ze skrawaniem. Jeżeli potrzebujemy wsparcia przy kreowaniu nieszablonowego elementu ze stali - warto odwiedzić stronę internetową oraz podjąć współpracę właśnie z fachowcami. Jedynie wtedy mamy pewność, że element będzie stworzony pod precyzyjne wymiary i nasze dyktando. W przemyśle każdy milimetr się kalkuluje - zwłaszcza, gdy mówimy o szczegółach nośnych lub też podzespołach do machin. Skutkiem tego warto postawić na profesjonalistów, którzy oprócz sprzętu i doświadczenia, mają też pasję. To naturalnie przedstawiani eksperci, którzy są zabezpieczeniem jakości, precyzji i zadowolenia każdego, kto podejmie z nimi współpracę.

Categories: Businesses

St. Olaf Sentiments: February 27, 2015

Manitou Messenger - 4 hours 1 min ago
Oscars 2015, or The Unexpected Virtue of Gambling

I love the Academy Awards. Not because I really care that much about who wins; I know which movies were my favorite this year and I don’t require validation from some mysterious, shadowy conglomerate of film elites.

I also don’t really care about the show itself. Let’s be honest, as a televised event, The Oscars are rather long and boring. As you might expect, about half of the broadcast is commercials. But unlike other major televised events, such as the Super Bowl, they’re not even enjoyable ads.

Companies that advertise during the Oscars should feel an obligation to create entertaining, or at the very least mildly tolerable, commercials. These people are watching the Academy Awards; haven’t they suffered enough?

However, good TV commercials are a rarity, so I can give the Oscars a pass on that front. But even the show’s content, delivered at a snail’s pace between commercial breaks, is in no way enjoyable nor entertaining. Every year, the award presenters give the same inane speeches on the importance of each category. Are all of them really that essential? I’m just saying, one sound category is enough.

Then there’s the “entertainment” between awards. There’s no reason for it to be there. Yes, people enjoy the one upbeat Best Song nominee, but everything else is either boring or cringeworthy. The Academy could just announce the awards and say goodnight. No one would notice any difference except for a decline in their desire to blind and deafen themselves.

I’ve never understood why every year there are a million articles online about how awful that year’s host was, as if there has ever been a good host of the Academy Awards. Sure, some put in a good effort, such as last year’s Ellen DeGeneres, but there is truly no human being on earth who could ever redeem the mind-numbing blandness of that award show. The host of the Oscars is like a gardener in Chernobyl; it doesn’t matter how good they are, they will never be able to turn it into anything pleasant.

So if I don’t like the Oscars, why do I dedicatedly tune in every year? If for nothing else, it’s really just for the sport of it. It’s like a horse race; they’re all strong, worthy competitors who deserve to be there, but I don’t have any strong emotional investment in the winner. Speaking of horse racing, this leads me to my favorite Academy Award tradition: my annual Oscar betting pool prediction contest.

I participate in the betting guessing as well, which is probably a conflict of interest since I also run the pool , but it’s just a friendly wager, so no one causes a fuss.

I love this tradition because guessing Oscar winners is my secret talent. I consistently get around 70 percent of my picks correct. This year was no different. 17 out of my 24 predictions came out on top. Some of my misses are understandable: I mean, no one saw Whiplash’s Best Editing win coming. Some of them were tight races: I figured Michael Keaton would pull through after Birdman’s Director’s Guild momentum, but sadly no.

Despite my powerful guesswork, I unfortunately only came in second place this year. Some punk made a few lucky guesses on the tight races. I was not dismayed, however, as I won every single one of my other, private, friendly Oscar bets. So overall, I had a net profit of $20 worth of strong moral character.

The moral of this story is that while the Academy Awards are an inherently lifeless and hollow piece of network programming, they can become the highlight of your year with the one tool that can make any event a festive treat: gambling.

mayo1@stolaf.edu

Categories: Colleges

KSTO announces new Spring schedule

Manitou Messenger - 7 hours 1 min ago

93.1 KSTO, St. Olaf’s student run radio station, has released their schedule for spring semester. Listeners can tune in at 93.1 FM or by accessing the live stream available on the KSTO website: http://pages.stolaf.edu/ksto/.

KSTO has also released a mobile app. Called “KSTO,” it’s available in the app store and allows users to listen from any mobile device.

Here is the spring semester KSTO line-up:

Sunday:

-White Noise, 12-2 p.m. Hosts: Max Mckune ’18, James Wheeler ’18

-The Enchanting Hour, 3-4 p.m. Hosts: Lauren Kingsbeck 15, Kari Heistad ’15, Rachel Murphy ’15

“The Enchanting Hour is a talk-show and music program dedicated to discussion of all things Harry Potter.”

-The Birch, 5-6 p.m. Hosts: Cole Hatzsky ’18, Conlan Campbell ’18, Olaf Sunleaf ’18

-Brown Sugar, 7-8 p.m. Host: Tasha Viets-VanLear ’15

-Sounds Like Sunday, 8-9 p.m. Hosts: Marni Kaldjian ’17, Karsen Shoger ’17

-Ben and Eli’s Musical Fountain, 9-10 p.m. Hosts: Ben Marlof  ’15, Eli Johnson ’15.

-Anders Ponders, 10-11 p.m. Host: Anders Ohm ’16

-Kevin at 11, 11-12 p.m. Host: Kevin Jackson ’15

Conlan Campbell ’18 DJs during his KSTO radio show, ‘The Birch.’

Monday:

-The News II: News Harder, 3-4 p.m. Host: Connor Cejda ’17

“I cover everything from upcoming St. Olaf events to national and world news to ‘weird’ news like strange robberies and exotic animal rampages”

-Torpor Time, 4-5 p.m. Hosts: Iris Brenner ’17 and Lindsey Tucker ’17

“We talk about our lives and the caf menu. Occasional reviews of The Bachelor. Lots of sick beats.”

-DVAS (Deadly Viper Assassination Squad), 5-6 p.m.

Hosts: Mara Bakken ’17, AshWillison ’17, Graham Glennon ’17, Annika Lee ’17

-Noise Pollution, 6-7 p.m. Hosts: Audrey Kidwell ’15, Brandon Khor ’16

“Noise Pollution typically showcases classic and progressive rock from any time between the 50’s through today, with lots of other genres sprinkled in for extra flavor.”

-Cat Industry, 7-8 p.m. Host: Emily Johnson ’17

“Cat Industry is a radio show where I have a theme every week and play songs relating to the theme.”

-World Records, 8-9 p.m. Hosts: Elliot Knuths ’17, Marni Kaldjian ’17

“Anyone with an interest in travel, cultural diversity, or good music should join us for an auditory adventure.”

-Stuff and Things, 9-10 p.m.

-Evening Brunch, 10-11 p.m. Host: Sam Schonberg ’15

“Pesto.”

Tuesday:

-The Leanback, 4-5 p.m. Hosts: Griffin Edwards ’17, Sarah Bauer ’17

“The Leanback seeks to provide a variety of music that can appeal to both active and passive listeners. Themes vary week-to-week.”

-Bunny in the Tub, 5-6 p.m. Host: Curran Olson ’17

“I play tunes, read poems, and do Jeopardy trivia.”

-BS With Henry and Emma, 6-7 p.m. Hosts: Henry Koon ’16, Emma Ritter ’15

“Tune in for the news stories that lower your expectations of the world.”

-Grantitude, Tuesdays, 7-8 p.m. Host: Grant Kern ’17

-But I’m Not a Rapper, 8-9 p.m. Hosts: Toby Martin ’17, Gunnar Raasch ’15

“It’s about rap and we perform freestyles and written performances on the show as well as play music and talk.”

-Matt and Alexandra Technique, 9-10 p.m. Hosts: Matt Bacon ’15 and Alexandra Mauney ’16

“Primarily a talk show centered around the experiences of the hosts and their cohorts in the Church Music department, the show includes discussions of different traditions of hymnody, conversations about life in the wild world of church work and the occasional musical interlude.”

-Pretty Party, 10-11 p.m. Hosts: Freya Hahn ’15, Chris Hager ’16

Wednesday

-Classy Times with Andrew Parr, 2-3 p.m. Host: Andrew Parr  ’16

“It’s a classical and choral program- I play music by many of the St. Olaf music ensembles, as well as music I want on my own.”

-Prof Rock with Mark Allister, 4-5 p.m. Host: Mark Allister, professor of English, Environmental Studies, and American Studies

“The emphasis is on 21st century indie rock, but I extend to genres such as Americana and folk, and I often thematize the show.”

-A Show About Nothing, 5-6 p.m. Host: Daniel Hagen ’17

-Sound Check, 6-7 PM. Host: Jack Bachmann ’17

“Sound Check is a live music commentary show where an album is played for a guest who has never heard it and gives what is essentially a stream of consciousness review.”

-Music Outta Mellby, 7-8 p.m. Host: Ian Tkach ’17

“I play a relatively even mix of rock, pop, and folk music, treating listeners to a broad sample of artists and eras for each genre.”

-Everything But the Kitchen Sink, 8-9 p.m. Hosts: Zach Greimann ’15, Kyle Wagener ’15

-RadioNorway, 9-10 p.m.

-Sweet Sounds with Sweta, 10-11 p.m. Host: Sweta Bhattacharya ’15

-The Lion and the Pig, 11-12 p.m. Hosts: Isaac Leonhardi ’17, Jack Hamby ’17

KSTO Station Manager Mitch Kampf ’15 uses the KSTO app that launched this January. The new app allows users to tune in to the student-run radio shows right from their cell phones. 

Thursday:

-The Directionless, 5-6 p.m. Hosts: Emma Standen ’18, Sophie Eckmeier ’18

“We are two zany, wacky chicks who play what ever music we want. Tune in to hear our directionless show full of jokes, bizarre facts, and bumpin tunes!”

-Sorry Not Sorry, 6-7 p.m. Hosts: Lauren Kingsbeck ’15, Rachel Murphey ’15

“A talk show about the issues of modern women and feminists, with different topics each week.”

-Notes from the Margin, 7-8 p.m. Hosts: Isabella Vergun ’15

“A literature-based radio show: we pick the book, you pick the music. Tune in if you love rambling and ridiculous tunes.”

-Pop Culture Ole Hour, 8-9 p.m. Hosts: Mitch Kampf ’15, Nick Stumo-Langer ’15

-Electronic Evening, 9-10 p.m. Hosts: Sean Heaslip ’16, Evan Davis ’15

“We feature the hottest and newest electronic songs of the week, talk about news in the genre and [interview artists].”

-Beyond the Wall, 10-11 p.m. Host: So Han ’18

“The show is about the multicultural community, where we share our international experiences, understand the difference between people from different countries and explore music from different countries.”

Friday:

-Dap Kings, 3-4 p.m.

-KSTO Talks, 4-5 p.m. Host: Zaq Baker ’15, STO Talks Speakers

-News for People Who Need News, 5-6 p.m. Host: Nick Larson ’17

-The Doodle Show, 6-7 p.m. Host: Annamarie Pearson ’15

“Doodly music. Doodly people. A doodly time. Featured segments: Call time from Idaho and the Caryl Mackey report; The Sausage Hour; and the adventures of Burpy McGlowstick HVG.”

-Winn-Sickle, 7-8 p.m. Host: William Seabrook ’16, Jordan Lutter ’16

-The Three Lions, 8-9 p.m. Hosts: Kevin Skrip ’16, Ryan van Mechelen ’16 and Aaron Stets ’16.

“The hottest and best feel-good vibe indie-pop music complemented by back and forth commentary among fellow Oles, featuring the Lion Quote of the week and a riddle at the bottom of the hour.”

-Getting Mystical, 9-10 p.m.

Saturday:

-Besky, 10-11 a.m. Host: Zac Besky ’18

“You never really know what to expect, I play music ranging from Mat Kearney to Beautiful Eulogy to Remedy Drive, and say whatever comes to my mind.”

-Progressions on the Hill, 12-1 p.m. Hosts: William Arnold ’18, Brock Carlson ’18

“A look at the foundations of musical inspiration, especially from a jazz history perspective. We start our show with a song from the 1920s-30s, and discuss how that song/artist inspired future artists.”

-Weird Little Show, 1-2 p.m. Host: Haley Olson ’16

-Liner Notes, 2-3 p.m. Hosts: Jack Bachmann ’17, Nick Larson ’17, Ross Nevin ’17

“A rap oriented talk show that seeks to facilitate a greater and more in-depth engagement with rap music than is common.”

-28 Grahams and a Hammer, 3-5 p.m. Host: Graham Glennon ’17

-Skylines in Your Small Town, 5-6 p.m.

-Music of the Arab World, 6-8 p.m. Host: Abdel-Rahman Amr Madkour ’17

“Every Saturday we explore the tunes of the Arab Worlds, both classical and contemporary music. The first half we will talk about and play classical and traditional music from the good old days, and the second half we play the hottest hits from the modern the Arab world.”

-Hour of Islam, 8-9 p.m. Hosts: Essam Bubaker ’18 and Omar Shehata ’18

“We talk about Islam and all its facets, ranging from what it means to be a Muslim on a daily basis to the Islamic world at large. We have an anonymous submission form where anyone can submit questions that they’ve always wanted to learn about and hear the answers and discussions live. Submit your questions here: bit.ly/MuslimAMA

whitfo1@stolaf.edu

Categories: Colleges

Iditarod Dreaming

Tomorrow, the biggest, baddest fatbike race of them all starts: the Iditarod Trail Invitational, run on the dogsled route from Anchorage, Alaska, north and west to McGrath, the end of the "short" 350 mile race, and Nome, the end of the "long" 1,000 mile race.

This year, a bunch of my fatbike-racing friends are doing the races, including these yahoos from Minnesota and South Dakota:

My buddies Ben Doom and Mark Seaburg are fourth and fifth from the left here. And I loaned my headlamp to Charly Tri, at left. (I want that lamp back, Charly!) I’ll be rooting for them and for other friends I’ve met – Jay and Tracey Petervary, Beat Jegerlehner, Kevin Breitenbach, Petr Ineman- and not yet met – Toni Lund (an incredible photographer) – starting Sunday afternoon.

As you’d guess, I am very eager to do the ITI. The checkpoints and other milestones ring in my head like bells: Knik, Yentna Station, the Skwentna Roadhouse, Finger Lake, Rainy Pass, the Dalzell Gorge, Rohn, the Farewell Burn, Nikolai, McGrath…

With finishes in two Arrowheads and one Fat Pursuit, I have enough experience to do the "short" race to McGrath. The problems, as usual, are time and money. Including both travel time and up to five days of racing, I would need about ten days off to do the race – a long time to make Shannon handle all the domestic duties, and a long time to be away from work. Maybe more importantly, the adventure would cost several thousand dollars to do: the race entry fee, extensive travel to and in Alaska, lodging there, plus all the usual race costs like food and Alaska-ready gear and food and batteries (so many batteries!) and food (so much food!).

Someday, right? Till then I’m going to follow the race from afar – which you can do this year with Trackleaders. I’ll be glued to it for the next week! Ride hard, everyone!

Categories: Citizens

Today’s news update -State Representatives Bly, Vogel, & Dahle Public Meetings; Carleton College Ranks 2nd in Peace Corps Volunteers for 2014; Dakota County residents invited to public meeting concerning emerald ash borer.

KYMN Radio - 9 hours 55 min ago

State Representatives Public Meeting

Representative Bly, Vogel, and Dahle will appear at the Montgomery Public Library Saturday Morning 9AM, the Lonsdale Public Library 10:30AM, and the Northfield Public Library Meeting room at Noon. The public is invited to attend, ask questions and give input on the recent February Forecast. Minnesota’s projected surplus has jumped to $1.8 billion since the November forecast. Listen to the full interview with Senator Dahle at kymnradio.net.

Carleton College Ranks 2nd in Peace Corps Volunteers for 2014

Carleton College ranks 2nd in Peace Corps Volunteers for 2014.  Carleton made it’s 4th consecutive appearance on Peace Corps annual list of top volunteer-producing small colleges and universities across the country. With their 17 alumni currently serving, Carleton was just behind 1st place Washington Gonzaga University. Carleton alum and Northfield graduate Paul Dimick is a health volunteer in Guatemala. Arriving in July 2014, he’s worked with his community to implement education programs and train local health staff.  He said “Carleton does an exceptional job of opening students’ eyes to the wider world,”.  Dimick knew that he wanted to work in a job that would help others, and said the Peace Corps was a natural and perfect fit.

Dakota County residents invited to public meeting concerning emerald ash borer

Residents in Dakota County are invited to a public meeting on Thursday, March 5 regarding the discovery of emerald ash borer in the county. An emergency quarantine was placed on the county in December upon the discovery. The quarantine limits the movement of ash trees, limbs, and hardwood firewood out of the county. Experts from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture and other local, state, and federal partner agencies will be present at the meeting to answer questions. The public meeting will be held at the Eagan Municipal Center, Thursday March 5, from 6PM-7PM.

 

Click below to listen to FULL newscast:

http://kymnradio.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Saturday-News_01.mp3


Listen for news updates on-air at 6, 7, 8, Noon, 3 and 5

The post Today’s news update -State Representatives Bly, Vogel, & Dahle Public Meetings; Carleton College Ranks 2nd in Peace Corps Volunteers for 2014; Dakota County residents invited to public meeting concerning emerald ash borer. appeared first on KYMN Radio - Northfield, MN.

Seyferth Wins Twice; Knights First to the Line Five Times at Ole Open Qualifier

Carleton Sports - 16 hours 11 min ago

Senior Colby Seyferth was first to the line twice on Friday night as the Carleton College men’s indoor track and field team won five events at the Ole Open Qualifier.

Categories: Colleges

Two School Records Fall at Ole Open Qualifier

Carleton Sports - Fri, 02/27/2015 - 11:52pm

The Carleton College women’s indoor track and field team closed the regular season in style as the Knights eclipsed a pair of school records while competing at the Ole Open Qualifier. Sophomore Zoe Peterson bettered the previous standard in the triple jump, and Carleton’s entry in the distance medley relay broke the program standard established a year ago at this same meet.

Categories: Colleges

Why infrastructure for bikes on city streets and paved trails can matter for mountain biking

Mountain Bike Geezer - Fri, 02/27/2015 - 11:13pm

With my CROCT board member hat on, I attended the BikeNorthfield steering committee meeting at the Northfield Public Library last night, as the agenda (PDF) included a discussion with City staff leaders (City Administrator Nick Haggenmiller, City Engineer/Director of Public Works Dave Bennett, and Engineering/GIS Technician Jasper Kruggel)  about two upcoming street improvement projects that concern bicyclists: 3rd St. & Hwy 3; and Woodley St from Division to Prairie.

There may not be an obvious connection between CROCT’s mission and the current activities of BikeNorthfield. But CROCT’s Sechler Park MTB trail is popular in part because it’s directly connected to the City’s paved trail through Riverside Park and across the Peggy Prowe Pedestrian Bridge.  CROCT’s discussions with the PRAB could lead to the establishment of mountain bike trails and skills parks in several other City parks, in which case, extensive street and local paved trail networks are increasingly important so that off-road cyclists of all ages can ride safely to and from the dirt trails and bike parks.

See the album of 16 photos from the meeting.

Subscribe to my free Thick Skull MTB Skills/Mountain Bike Geezer newsletter and get:

  1. The free 6-part series, 'Light Hands, Heavy Feet': 17 mountain bike drills to develop the 'light hands' habit and make your riding more stable no matter what the terrain
  2. Exclusive how-to-ride related content every week that I don't post on my blog.

So do it. Get it through your Thick Skull.

The post Why infrastructure for bikes on city streets and paved trails can matter for mountain biking appeared first on Mountain Bike Geezer.

Categories: Citizens

gta 5 pobierz

Ole Store Restaurant - Fri, 02/27/2015 - 8:06pm


Super gra Grand Theft Auto V PC. Wejdźcie w skórę Michaela, Franklina natomiast Trevora, trzy zupełnie przeróżnych złodziei, którzy postawią wszystko na jakąś kartę i przeprowadzą partię zuchwałych napadów, które mają prawo ustawić ich do końca istnienia. Już teraz GTA 5 pobierz i grajże teraz z nami!

Categories: Businesses

Musical memories reverberate for late band teacher

Northfield News - Fri, 02/27/2015 - 5:00pm
A large figure if the Northfield community passed away last week.
Categories: Local News

Canceling CowTalks gives Fetzer more ammo

Manitou Messenger - Fri, 02/27/2015 - 4:17pm

In January, Northfield’s Contented Cow was slated to host “CowTalks,” a series of passionate, civil debates on various political topics. The town has seen quite the hubbub since CowTalks was canceled on account of the views of their would-be host, Jim Fetzer. Fetzer, a retired philosophy professor and conspiracy theorist from the University of Minnesota– Duluth, is a conspiracy theorist of the highest degree. He has conspiracy theories about JFK’s assassination, 9/11, Sandy Hook, the Holocaust … name an outlandish idea about these things and this guy believes it.

I’ve always liked conspiracy theories. To be clear, I don’t believe any of them, but I find them entertaining to hear and laugh about.

However, Jim Fetzer is anything but entertaining. After spending half an hour browsing the articles he has written on Veteran’s Today, I started to feel sick. It’s easy to joke about silly conspiracy theories, like the belief that reptilian humanoids secretly run the earth, but when Fetzer starts claiming that Sandy Hook was staged by the government, it’s hard to stomach. Fetzer’s articles have two common intended purposes: to spout off his ludicrous theories and to denounce anyone who disagrees with him. According to him, anyone who takes issue with his drivel is a “bigot” who is out to persecute him for his beliefs. He apparently doesn’t see the irony of that statement coming from his mouth. Fetzer is a reprehensible human being and overall morally disgusting.

That being said, CowTalks shouldn’t have been canceled. Yes, he’s horrible, but shutting Fetzer out is not the correct approach. That strategy will never work because Fetzer is the kind of person who will do anything to get his voice heard. When his options are taken away, he will keep finding new, weirder ways to fulfill his objective. Then it becomes a story. When Fetzer goes around claiming that he is dispensing a “truth,” that “the man” doesn’t want anyone to know about and then he gets barred from speaking, it lends him a sort of credibility that he can bring back to his followers.

Also, since when have we been so afraid of the ideas of stupid people that we can’t even let them speak? It’s not even like canceling CowTalks has been a hindrance to Fetzer. Quite the opposite, actually: he’s recently seen a sharp boost in popularity thanks to this whole debacle. If you don’t like what Jim Fetzer is saying, call him out on it, argue against it, but don’t close him out of the conversation. No, you’re never going to change his mind. No, you’re never going to change the minds of most of his followers. But by challenging him, you may be able to expose how weak his arguments are to a few of his followers and to folks who might be on the fence about his ideas. Every idiotic argument should be given the opportunity to flounder horribly. The fewer people seriously getting their information from this guy, the better.

Alternatively, maybe you don’t want to have any interaction with Fetzer and his ideas. That’s understandable, especially given his history of posting his opponents’ information online and then sicking his fans on them (very classy, Jim). In that case, the course of action is very simple: don’t go to his events. Like a child, Jim Fetzer thrives on conflict as the best way to get attention. There’s a reason why he has no conspiracies that were not controversial before he added claims of government involvement. The same rules apply to Jim that would a child having a tantrum; if you ignore him, it will stop. Without a clear opposition for him to point fingers at, Fetzer would run out of steam very quickly. If you look at his Web site, it’s the same few recycled ideas in every article, but he mixes it in with talk of the newest “bigot” that opposes him (the most recent is the entirety of Northfield).

In short, we shouldn’t ban Fetzer from expressing his views – if for no other reason than to stop giving him material.

Chaz Mayo ’18 (mayo1@stolaf.edu) is from Rice Lake, Wis. He majors in theater.

Graphic Credit: ETHAN BOOTE/MANITOU MESSENGER

Categories: Colleges

NYT graphics editor discusses relevance of math

Manitou Messenger - Fri, 02/27/2015 - 4:14pm

On Monday, Feb. 16, the St. Olaf Department of Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Sciences hosted St. Olaf alumna Amanda Cox ’01 to speak about how she incorporates mathematics and statistics to create graphics and visuals as a New York Times graphics editor.

This event had a great turnout as many students and faculty members assembled in Regents to participate in the colloquium. Cox began the seminar by describing her job as a marriage between traditional journalism and modern photojournalism. This creates a balance of words and images that brings the representation of data and diagrams to life.

The usefulness of mathematics and statistics was the focus of this seminar, and Cox gave an example of this with her work on election predictions. Cox and her team worked on a project creating models to predict the end results of an election. Before the elections were over, they were able to predict that Mark Warner would win the race for Senator in Virginia. Although they lacked some data, they were able to use the past voting patterns of the different counties and voting data on which counties were reported to strengthen their model.

“This is an example of a place where math and a little bit of modeling help us get to information better and say smart things in real time on election night,” said Cox.

Cox also talked about the role of mathematics in several behind-the-scenes actions that are often invisible to the general public. She explained the complex working of graphic designs where math is incredibly useful.

“Math shows up in the background of a graphic just to make the mouse-over seem nice, even though you are never going to see it,” Cox said.

For example, in order for a mouse to be able to click and display information on a web browser, it requires polygon graphics that make interactions seem very seamless and smooth. All these polygons remain invisible yet vital in the background.

Cox’s work continues to establish the integration of mathematics and statistics. She spoke about her work with Harvard economists to create a model that is able to predict the economic status of people.

The resulting map was very impressive. It is able to predict what the economic status of a given person would be in the future, given their family’s economic status and their birthplace.

“If you grow up poor, the South is the worst place to grow up; and if you grow up rich, California is the worst place to grow up,” Cox said.

This model further uses data to categorize the general population. Cox was able to conclude that, “If you grow up rich, you do worse than your parent on average, and if you grow up poor, you do better than your parent on average.”

Many more examples were used to demonstrate the practicality of mathematics and statistics in real-life problem solving. Cox’s talk was followed up with a question and answer session, in which students could inquire about potential careers using mathmatics.

Throughout the seminar, Cox showed how math and statistics can be fun and creative. She encouraged the audience to see beauty in math – for example, the R statistical programming can create beautiful sketches and graphs.

One could definitely see and feel Cox’s passion for mathematics and her job, as she talked animatedly and used many personal experiences to enrich the audience’s understanding.

Concluding the seminar, Cox gifted the audience with some advice about modern journalism.

“The best journalism is not mad libs,” said Cox. “You don’t start with a sentence and fill in a noun, fill in an adjective… sometimes we do that, but that is not our highest form of journalism.”

akindele@stolaf.edu

Photo Credit: MADISON VANG/MANITOU MESSENGER

Categories: Colleges

Adventure abound: HHH Ranch offers dog sledding trips at Lake Byllesby Regional Park

Northfield News - Fri, 02/27/2015 - 3:12pm
Dog sledding lives in lore thanks to Jack London’s “Call of the Wild” and Dawn Lanning has provided people the opportunity to live out a fantasy for the past several years.
Categories: Local News

Oles fall to Tommies at Tostrud Open

Manitou Messenger - Fri, 02/27/2015 - 2:54pm

The St. Olaf men’s track and field team competed in the Tostrud Open on Feb. 21. It was a strong performance by the Oles, who finished just 30 points behind champions University of St. Thomas with 146 team points. Kevin Skrip ’16 starred in the 600m race, setting the fastest time in St. Olaf history (1:21.73), breaking a record set in 1989.

St. Olaf had standout performers in a number of events. Aaron Dunphy ’15 claimed the 60m hurdles event by an incredibly narrow margin – edging out his nearest opponent by six thousandths of a second with a time of 8.692 seconds. James McFarlin ’16 carried on his strong form, finishing as the victor in both the 60m (7.14) and the 200m (22.71) events. Finally, Joseph Coffey ’17 was dominant in the mile race, winning the event in a time of 4:23.10.

Zach Hinz ’18 and Michael Wegter ’18 finished behind Coffey to claim third and fourth places, respectively, in the mile.

Joe Pugh ’18 finished third in the 400m event with a time of 51.98. Pugh also competed in both the 4×200 and the 4×400 meter relays.

Decathlete Tamas Peterson ’15 led the Oles in the high jump.  Peterson finished third in the event with a height of 1.85m.

Ethan Lunning ’16 finished runner-up in both the weight throw and the shot put, posting marks of 14.07m and 13.80m respectively.

The Oles will return to competition on Feb. 27 at the Ole Open Qualifier. The event will be valuable as St. Olaf looks to build toward the MIAC Indoor Championships held in Moorhead, Minn. on March 5-7.

nolans@stolaf.edu

Categories: Colleges

Minnesota's graduation rates for students of color raises alarms

Northfield News - Fri, 02/27/2015 - 2:35pm
For the third consecutive year, Minnesota lags behind the rest of the country in on-time graduation for students of color.
Categories: Local News

Bridgewater principal Antoine receives professional leadership award

Northfield News - Fri, 02/27/2015 - 2:33pm
The Minnesota Elementary School Principals’ Association (MESPA) recognized Bridgewater Elementary School Principal Nancy Antoine with the 2015 MESPA Division Leadership Award.
Categories: Local News

Northfield boards and commissions struggling to be filled

Northfield News - Fri, 02/27/2015 - 2:30pm
Many facets contribute to helping Northfield operate, including the various boards and commissions mostly comprised of volunteers.
Categories: Local News

Horoscopes: February 27, 2015

Manitou Messenger - Fri, 02/27/2015 - 2:12pm

Hi, I’m Loki. Am I a god?  Probably. Am I a student? A student of being godly, maybe. If you’re just reading this for the first time, then obviously you’ve had bad luck for the past semester and a half, and you don’t care about your friends. If you’re a repeat reader, then I love you, like seriously love you, like seriously will you marry me type of love. Don’t ever leave me. Regardless of whether or not you’ve been a consistent reader, I will still try to give you the best advice for the week ahead. Just remember that I love you and these come from the bottom of my dark little heart.

 

Pisces (Feb. 19 – March 20)

It’s that time in the semester when you really need to start buckling down and hitting the books. Stay in the library for 165 hours straight. Don’t move from your seat or you’ll fail every single class. In order to adapt to possible issues that may arise, construct a urine aqueduct that leads to bathroom. That way you won’t need to hold it or use soda bottles. If you have to go number two, however, consider a shoebox.

 

Aries (March 21 – April 19)

Money is tight. Time to live off the land. Practice your kitten mewing in order to attract a stray cat. Use the stray cat to hunt down the rat that has been living in your walls for past two months. Train the rat, Rocky-montage style, until the rat is cartoonishly muscular. Then use your freakishly large and increasingly sentient rat to hunt down weaker rats. Buy a small grill from Target and you have yourself a proper meal. Make sure to keep your bruiser of a rat in a docile state because by this point it has the brain power to stage a rat coup.

Taurus (April 20 – May 20)

Take some time to thank your parents for providing a college education. Drop out of school, and use the tuition money you just freed up to buy a nice car. Give your parents the car and tell them you’re suddenly rich. When they pass out due to happiness, sell the car to a drifter for 50 cents on the dollar. You will simulataneously teach your parents a lesson in trust and teach yourself a lesson in business. Congrats! You’re now an economics major!

Gemini (May 21 – June 20)

You need to spice up your sex life. Put a bowl of pudding in the microwave. Heat that puppy up until it splatters all over the microwave. Scrape some pudding off the sides and smear it on your lips. The more burns the better. Then run outside literally as fast as you can and kiss the nearest metal pole. The kiss will be so electric that you’ll most likely be unable to break the kiss for weeks.

Cancer (June 21 – July 22)

Already behind in a lot of your classes?  Loki has the key to success for you. Eat all the keys on your keyboard. You will either experience extreme gastrointestinal discomfort and will be exempt from any work after your extended hospital visit, or you will be deemed insane and sent to a scarier looking college called Minnesota’s Scariest Insane Asylum, which has the tagline: “We Welcome Ghouls.”

Leo (July 23 – Aug. 22)

Spread some joy. Ever heard of random acts of kindness?  Well, try some random acts of blindness. Occassionally close your eyes during unsafe times throughout your day. Falling down the stairs might seem like a joyless act, but just think of how happy people will feel after they peel a broken Ole off the floor of Buntrock.

Virgo (Aug. 23 – Sept. 22)

Loki can tell your best friend is sad. Haunt the living soul out of them. Their out-of-body experience will cleanse them of any sadness.

Libra (Sept. 23 – Oct. 22)

Fame is in your future. Start your 2016 Oscar-award-winning film now. You’re going to need a big star in order to be considered, so hop on a spaceship with A$AP Rocky (results will depend on your success of actually getting A$AP Rocky to accompany you). Once you reach a star, you’ll be disappointed to find that it’s made of gas and that you can’t physically bring it back to Earth. However, hopefully the onboard footage of your doomed journey will make it back to earth, and everyone will praise your bravery while they will also criticize your cinematic decision to die.

Scorpio (Oct. 23 – Nov. 21)

Everyone is too stressed. Tell all the pre-med kids that in order to get into medical school, they need to run through the caf butt naked while screaming their deepest darkest secrets. Trust me, it’ll be transformative for everyone.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22 – Dec. 21)

Be a hero. Secretly blare “All-Star” by Smashmouth throughout all the academic buildings until people start smashing themselves in the mouth out of annoyance. Then publically shut off the music to the cheers and applause and incoherent mumblings of your peers.

Capricorn (Dec. 22 – Jan. 19)

Flash the opposing team during Friday’s basketball game. They will be so surprised by the size of your ego that’ll they’ll be too distracted to play.

Aquarius (Jan. 20 – Feb. 18)

Inject yourself with midichlorians and become a jedi.

Categories: Colleges

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