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  • About me
    In-house Philosopher
  • Location
    Anywhere but there
  • Interests
    Model railroading, backyard astronomy, space exploration, music (composition, play the French Horn, Oboe, Alto Recorder, and Cornet), learning to play the ukulele (seriously, I am :D), kit-bashing, camping, and hiking, reading great science fiction, and escaping the university campus any chance I get!

    I teach World Civilization, U.S. History, and U.S. Foreign Policy at the college/university level. So, with that said, I love history, love to do research, and enjoy good conversation.

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  1. These are some of the best decals on the market. Their glues and paints are a lot better than what Testors Masters are now. Testors were once the standard in the late 80s and 90s, but now they suck. If you're doing a military model, get a can of Tamiya dull coat, too. This is in a spray can. This will protect the decals from your efforts to keep dust off the models, even if you put them in a case. Dull coat before you glue on the canopies.
  2. He seems to like the limelight and has made many bat-crazy statements in the past few years. I'd love to see a debate between him and people who are not afraid to stand upon actual science rather than dive into social media and "what ifs" for their gratification. My youngest daughter loves science but is instantly turned off when he comes on any show - much of it is his attitude. At times, he is funny and thought-provoking. But there are others where he is condescending and insulting. Ha, yeah, I was going to get to him. Since you brought up Bill Nye, the wanna-be science guy, I won't waste my breath. It also has all the earmarks of a religion, too. Many academic sociologists have treated atheism since the mid-1990s as a form of religion. It has its orthodoxy, core principles, and a distinctive philosophy, as do most mainstream (and minor) religions. Extreme atheism can be just as dangerous as any extremely held view of any particular form of religion and just as destructive socially (and violently, too). In my preparation for my modern world civ course, I usually spend two lectures discussing the impact of religion on cultures since 1500. I include atheism as a part of that lecture series. I think the idea came about because we run so many computer simulations in various elements of industry and science. And we even have them in forms of entertainment. Sure, we've mentioned movies and gaming. But we also see simulations in medical and flight training, engineering, city design, and other applications. But to think that life as we know it is an advanced simulation - Nah. Humankind does not have the technology to make it possible, so we'd have to be a simulation for some more intelligent species. Then we join the realms of Giorgio...
  3. Yes, philosophical concepts they are. As such, they should not be treated as if they are sciences and featured on websites such as Space.com or other science-related publications since they are not grounded in science.
  4. I think this -- but in a different manner of thought. Yeah, just as is the parallel universe theory. The concept there are multiverses out there where the "other you-se" or is it the "other you∞" may not have screwed up "your life" as severely as you did brings some comfort to the tortured soul. Or more. It all depends on how far they want to entertain these ideas. It is even more dangerous and irresponsible when these ideas become discussed as a form of "proper" scientific theory, knowing there is no proper way to test whether the theory is valid or invalid. A theory needs to be able to have an observation, then a hypothesis that's testable or measurable, and then the ability to make a prediction based on the results of testing the theory (for the sake of argument, I am not even discussing the actual testing or the use of the results). Neither "we live in a simulation" nor "we live in a multiverse of parallel universes" arguments are testable, and there's no way even to generate a hypothesis to test. At best, as a collective of human civilization, we are still at the "observation" stage of these ideas; however, I do believe they get traction because, as already pointed out, these alternate theories of existence give people who hold them some options for viewing their existence. They are dissatisfied with their current life and want to believe that the things that could be in their control are not. This reminds me of the ancient and classical Greek belief that life is determined by fate and that the will of the gods and goddesses determines the lives of men and women. It gives them a sense of false hope that, somehow, life is better anywhere but here. This can cause even more mental health issues or problems coping with problems they'll encounter in the future. I once had a student who believed their "double" in the parallel universe was born to wealthy parents. She also thought her double had an ideal boyfriend and a life of complete pleasure. And because of that, she received all the bad things life could throw at her. Anyway, I would write more, but I am grading final exams.
  5. That's a start. That's better than what I did. Have you thought about going out for some of the services designed to help train the unemployed for the workforce? I do not know where you live or the particulars. Still, in our area of the U.S. (Kentucky/Indiana/Illinois), there are all kinds of state-specific programs to help people get training for various jobs; some are in the "work at home" category, too. The key is not to give up hope.
  6. Yes, sadly, they do. Even athletes have a lot of "get out of assignments" cards they can pull from their deck of cards, even at a university when athletics and money come into the equation. However, as is the case with this student, she is no longer a cheerleader this semester nor a member of the dance team (her GPA disqualified her), so now she is a "typical" student while on academic probation. Losing the scholarship should have been a wake-up call, but it was not. I empathize with her because, as I shared, I once did something similar with rum, my once-chosen drink of stupidity. Life can be a cruel teacher when we insist on ignoring the warning signs that the highway of life shows us as we travel down its way.
  7. I love getting "vintage" glasses from yard sales. A sink of hot water, a drop of dishwashing liquid, and a capful of bleach care for anything that needs to die within them. Usually, I pay about a quarter ($0.25) per glass.
  8. You just described my first attempt at college. I climbed into a bottle of rum when I began my first attempt in 1988; I had a full orchestra scholarship that would have paid for a B.F.A. and an M.F.A. in Music Composition and Theory. But instead, why do I need to go to English class when I already speak it... you get the idea. At the end of my first two semesters, I had a cumulative G.P.A. of 1.67; the only reason it was that high was all my music classes were As, and the rest were Ds and below. In fear of death caused by my parents, I did the only thing I thought I could do - I joined the military. It turned out to be a sagacious decision for me. It realigned my life's priorities and gave me a sense of determination, focus, and other tools to keep me from repeating stupidity. This student's problem is that she grew up during the COVID-era and in an extremely lax middle and high school where she, being a cheerleader and a member of the dance team, has been able to skip out on accountability because she is extremely popular. I guess I am too "old school" because I am about academic performance and could not care less about those things.
  9. It all depends on the career path. Before I entered the world of academia, I worked in several not-for-profit organizations/non-government organizations, and yeah, deadlines were one of two things - very flexible to the point they really didn't matter or so rigid they were like brick walls. Ha, yeah, and in the case of teaching faculty, add the registrar, the students with disabilities coordinator, the student (I turned it in an hour ago; what do you mean it isn't graded yet!?), and the chair of any assigned committee you belong to. I deal with deadlines all the time. Because of my severe depression, the anxiety, and the friend they invited along for the ride, I do manage to meet all the demands (except for the one-hour photo demand by the student), but I put in sixty-hour to seventy-hour weeks to do so. It was one of two minor reasons I resigned from the university where I taught graduate courses, and my obligation to that institution will end on December 8th, when I post my final sets of grades. I will still have the responsibilities to the community college for a bit longer, but this is subject to change.TM I have heard of these people from one of my Japanese graduate students a few semesters back. She also said they are viewed as a disgrace by what she called "proper Japanese." But what you said here: This balance is vital to happiness. There's nothing wrong with a life of hard work and strict education, but there also has to be enjoyment. I know that at the community college, there is a tendency to pile work on the older and more experienced faculty because we have experience and time management skills and can get the work done within the specified time frame. The problem is that the workload becomes unequally distributed within the organization, and you get a handful of people doing most of the work. Most organizations will rationalize this because the younger employees lack either experience or fear they are expected to do too much, and if pressured, they will quit.
  10. It's a product of the times; you're fine. Not a problem. That's what's friends are for. There's no such thing as normal. We are all abnormal in some way. I tell students at the beginning of each semester that they must become their biggest advocate. They cannot expect anyone else to do it for them. Many never get it.
  11. Yep, we are aware of this. This is why we've been told not to cave to these folks claiming it as a stand-alone issue. And "time blindness," for those who have ADHD, severe depression with high functioning anxiety (as I do), and Autism/Asperger's, can and is often compensated for because to work within normal society, there are mechanisms that can be deployed that work. In my own experience, I have multiple alarms throughout the day to help keep me on-task, and I also have a color-coded Outlook-based calendar on my PC and phone to keep me "schedule-focused." Oh, we have had numerous faculty development meetings on this. Here's the thing. Legally, we are not required to give any accommodations to a student unless they have a documented disability by a board-certified specialist and they have used the university's students with disabilities services coordinator, who will contact us and notify us of what accommodations the laws require. Any accommodations I give above are between the student and me. Still, it is not a legal requirement for me to provide anything above what the student's medical/mental health care provider documents. It would amaze you what students try to claim are "disabilities." And the closer you get to the end of the semester and finals, the more strange things appear. Most students, about 95%, are not abusive towards the faculty. But there's the 5% who will hammer the crap out of us because they got away with it in high school because their teachers would not stand up to them.
  12. Yeah, that sucks. Hehe, yeah, that might work. Also, if your friend has any kids or feels so otherwise inclined, they could always get law enforcement involved. Your friend could claim the neighbor is a "peeping Tom" or spying on the family. Most places frown upon people spying on neighbor kids or women with cameras. It ramps up the "creepy guy" factor. That could be in your friend's advantage.
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