Tuesday, December 11, 2012

U.S. Schoolchildren Lag Asian Peers on Academic Tests

U.S. schoolchildren trailed Asian peers on one of the largest international tests of math, science and reading, highlighting a challenge to American competiveness.
Eight countries or regions including South Korea, Singapore and Hong Kong outscored the U.S. in eighth-grade math, while nine did in science, according to the 2011 test, called Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study. On a reading exam, the U.S. lagged behind five. Some U.S. states such as Florida and Massachusetts bucked the trend, shining in some subjects.

Asia 'to eclipse' US and Europe by 2030 - US report

Asia will wield more global power than the US and Europe combined by 2030, a forecast from the US intelligence community has found.

Within two decades China will overtake the US as the world's largest economy, the report adds.

It also warns of slower growth and falling living standards in advanced nations with ageing populations.

Global Trends 2030, issued to coincide with Mr Obama's second term, says it aims to promote strategic thinking.

Published every four years, the report from the National Intelligence Council (NIC) aims to draw together a wide sweep of "megatrends" driving transformation in the world.
Slow relative decline

China's Steve Jobs and the $4b fairytale

China's Xiaomi Technology is a fairytale for nerdy entrepreneurs.
Less than three years after its founding, the smartphone maker is valued at $US4 billion and evokes Apple-like adoration from its fans, some of whom are desperate enough to skip work for a shot at buying the latest product the day it goes on sale.
China's media say I am China's Steve Jobs, 
Founder Lei Jun dresses like the late Steve Jobs, in jeans and a black top. He has created a fervent fan base for Xiaomi's moderately priced high-end smartphones by mimicking Apple's marketing tactic of attaching an aura of exclusivity around its products.

Read more: http://www.watoday.com.au/technology/technology-news/chinas-steve-jobs-and-the-4b-fairytale-20121210-2b49n.html#ixzz2EoJBqVPO


  1. Sorry for not posting all week. I have bronchitis and this has really knocked me down.

    It is true, that if you do not have your health - you do not have anything.


  2. Hope you feel better, Mammoth.

    I began a rant on schools and figured you've heard it from me time and again.

    I'm all for the 'megatrend' of strategic thinking just like I'm all for the weather forecasters--they seem to have so much in common as to their ability to predict the future.

    As for the Chinese Steve Jobs--I read that and immediately though WHAT INNOVATION? He COPIED someone else. The Chinese are good at that. They beg, borrow, and steal the ideas of others then mass produce them at a cheaper cost. Our REAL worry must center on the day they actually INVENT the technology...and that day may be advancing rapidly.

    Course, I am saying this as an IDIOT who went to the dollar store yesterday to get a plastic platter to take muffins up to my mother-in-law's holiday celebration. I thought, "Why bother spending money for this. I'll buy a cheap, throw-away platter and then they can keep it.

    I did not, however, READ THE BACK OF THE PLATE...where it says: "NOT TO BE USED FOR FOOD!!!
    My husband did when he was washing it. So it ended up in the trash and I am out a dollar. It serves me right.

    I wonder, however, just how many people will NOT read that or will ignore the stated warning? Obviously, that plate wasn't worth even the dollar I spent.

    Dollar stores should be good for bows, paper, hand soap, and balloons--and I should have known better. So it is a lesson to me.

  3. All the posts were sent in from Shaza.

    I hired a nurse part time as the stress is too much. I needed some help and someone to bathe Yvonne. She did an excellent job. Sorry you had Bronchitis Mammoth just be glad you don't have pneumonia like my Mom. With COPD she will probably end up in the hospital or the skilled nursing ward with Dad who doesn't know who we are any more and is declining fast. So much for the Golden Years.

  4. I told you, Queen. They aren't the GOLDEN years; they are the RUSTY years. All that wear and tear leaves us slowly rusting, not glittering ;-)

    Glad to hear you are getting help.

  5. Rusty years sounds about right, but not at my age. I expected them in my 70s or 80s not in my 50s.

  6. Age is not a battle it is a massacre...

  7. The kitty graphic made me smile, QB!

  8. Sorry about your bronchitis, Mammoth. It's peak bronchitis weather up here! Up here where Mammoth and I live, the atmosphere at ground level is often like being inside a cloud. It doesn't help to have a kid in that disease-bank they call "school" does it? Although I like to believe that working in the disease FACTORY they call a "hospital" has made me immune to most everything.

    I have been blessed with an excellent immune system, and I never get sick, even when I go riding my bicycle for hours in the damp chill. I'd like to think it's because I use mind over matter to THINK I won't get sick, or because I'm too mean for germs to live inside of me, or because I stay fit through regular exposure to the gym and the elements outdoors. But really, like so much of life, it's just blind luck, a random chance of the genetics I was born with. We like to comfort ourselves that we have some control over things, but the courses of our lives are just a roll of the Universes's dice.

  9. From a couple of posts back, I have to comment on the story about the male nurse in the British National Health Service that CL left the Web address to -- SO TRUE! I can relate to all that, CL. The too-many-patients-to-deal-with atmosphere. The desire to do MORE for the patients, only I have MORE patients to do things for then I can possibly handle. The sick feeling that I'm doing a bad job, and people are suffering, dying, because I'm not doing enough.

    Only, I haven't felt that way since 2003. That's when I moved to California, where there is a state LAW that says each hospital nurse can have no more than four patients to look after. It was stressful on the cardiac ward where I worked, because you don't get into an American hospital unless you're really old and really sick. Plus it was a cardiac ward, and patients' hearts could blow at any minute. But patients got bathed, and assisted out of bed (your lungs fill with crap and you die of pneumonia like the unfortunate man in the story CL cited if you don't mobilize, even though it hurts.)

    I didn't feel like that male nurse when I worked in the state of Victoria, Australia, either, because the hospitals had a 4:1 ratio there. Ditto for British Columbia. I did not land in these jurisdictions by accident. The fact that I would be working in an environment where I could do what a decent medical person does was a factor in where I landed.

    Socialized medicine can be bad, as in England. I could have immigrated there, but I heard too many bad things in my ravels about their system. Or it can be good, as in Oz and Canuckrainia. Privatized medicine can be good, as it was at the hospital where I worked in California, or it can be bad, like the penny-pinching, worker-stretching hospitals where I worked in Florida.

    What it boils down to is "What does society think it should spend its money on?" That story of CL's is austerity in action in the hospitals. Britain wants to spend its money on propping up the rich bastards in the financial system. The U.S. wants to spend its money on war. So people like the old guy in CL's story drop dead of things that they should have survived.

    Canada and Australia might be relative pipsqueak countries when it comes to strutting around on the world stage, but at least they've decided that their sick people should get treated decently. Let's hope the Austerity Trolls never get to them.

  10. Thanks Bukko for the great stories and comparisons. I am glad the Christmas Cat made you smile. Shaza said it best in the end it is a slaughter. I feel like I am in a fox hole with mortar shells all around me. Yvonne has been discharged from PT so there goes any hope of walking. At least I have a CNA nurse coming once a week to take care of her. That takes a lot of stress off of me.