Sex education begins to stir in Chinese elementary schools


Appreciating the feel of weight shift during pregnancy
Daylife/Getty Images used by permission

China has long been considered a conservative country where talking about sex is taboo, especially to children.

But things have started to change — slowly.

A report in a local Beijing newspaper about a new sex education textbook for elementary school students — some as young as six-years old — has triggered a heated debate in cyberspace and beyond. The Beijing Times, a popular local tabloid, reported that the textbook, “The Steps of Growth”, explains the concept of sexual intercourse with images and illustrations that some people consider too explicit and graphic…

Some experts in the field even weighed in on the debate. “The content of this text book is not consistent with the children’s cognitive capability of this age,” said Hu Ping, a sex education expert who owns a studio in Shenzhen, southern China, where she gives classes to young students about sex and health…

In contrast, some parents are comfortable with the textbook. “It’s better to teach it to the children earlier than later. The kids nowadays know everything anyway,” said Li Yan, a father with a seven-year-old son.

Education authorities in China’s capital deny the book is a formal textbook to be taught in all the local elementary schools. They say it is only an experiment in some schools.

Nevertheless, in a faxed statement to CNN, they said, “it’s very important to carry out health education, including sex education, to elementary and middle school students.”

RTFA. Looks like the program – as it is implemented – will be more inclusive and broad-based than in parts of the world where religious fears are included in on decisions like this. Maybe not. Maybe the conservative traditions leftover from the Confucianist past will get in the way as thoroughly as might some fundamentalist church.

It still makes me chuckle at how parts of the world dig in their heels and reject knowledge for ideological reasons. My family introduced a book called “The Stork Didn’t Bring You” into my elementary school about a jillion years ago. They went the route of the PTA; but, in fact, there were progressive teachers in our hard-as-nails factory town who were ready and able to ease the door open to sex education.

Except for some raving and ranting at the big Roman Catholic church a mile down the road – it was easy as pie.

New NASA pics show Apollo astronaut footpaths on the moon


Just for the Kool Aid Party-types who think we never went to the moon

The LROC was launched in June of 2009, and had been orbiting and photographing the Moon with its Narrow and Wide Angle Cameras ever since. Although it has usually held a near-circular orbit at an average altitude of 50km above the lunar surface, on August 10th NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center temporarily altered its orbit to a more oval configuration, that brought it as low as 21km. The result were the photos…that show the Apollo landing sites in greater detail than ever before.

Grandfather caught making napalm after being egged

A vengeful grandfather was caught making napalm after his house was egged by neighbours, a court has heard.

When police officers found an agitated Nicholas Smith mixing substances and asked what he was doing he replied: “What does it ——- look like? I am making a bomb.”

The 53-year-old was grating soap into a saucepan at his home after trawling the internet for bomb-making tips, a court heard.

The two officers were responding to a complaint about eggs being thrown at his house in May when they found Smith “stressed and anxious” as he made the concoction.

Smith was arrested and during an interview, he said: “I just wanted to kill them, I had enough.”

In a chilling entry on Facebook, Smith is said to have threatened to “burn” neighbours who “declared war” on his terraced home…

Smith, a former Territorial Army volunteer, is on trial at Teesside Crown Court facing two charges under the Explosive Substances Act.

Initially he repeated what he had said on arrest, that he was making a bomb. He said, ‘I just wanted to kill them, I just had enough’. He explained, by that he meant the residents of 13, 17 and 25 of Twelfth Street.

“A group of kids between six and 12 years of age were all responsible for anti-social behaviour directed at him.

“He said he was getting hassled day after day with kids doing things like dropping their trousers and throwing eggs.”

Mr Smith denies the charges against him. The trial continues.

I admit I’m of two minds. Admittedly, napalm would have been overkill [pun intended]. Though I can always sympathize with old-fashioned rage.

Since the belligerant children probably had little understanding of what a pain they were – I would have suggested taking the response to the coppers right away – and on to the courts soon after. Sanctions against the wallets of incompetent parents likely would have the desired effect.

Individuals who recognize the need to act must either act or aid in the implementation of that action. Doing less than that is as irresponsible as our society often gets, often is. But, whatever the response to anti-human actions, big or little crimes, may be – you establish levels of response with a sense of proportion. Somewhere along the way Smith lost that ability – or didn’t care anymore. That may have been the result of inaction by the system that should have been responding in the first place.

Or…

Don’t turn off the spell checker in your email software!

Two researchers who set up doppelganger domains to mimic legitimate domains belonging to Fortune 500 companies say they managed to vacuum up 20 gigabytes of misaddressed e-mail over six months.

The intercepted correspondence included employee usernames and passwords, sensitive security information about the configuration of corporate network architecture that would be useful to hackers, affidavits and other documents related to litigation in which the companies were embroiled, and trade secrets, such as contracts for business transactions.

“Twenty gigs of data is a lot of data in six months of really doing nothing,” said researcher Peter Kim from the Godai Group. “And nobody knows this is happening.”

Well – truly conscientious IT departments are aware of the problem.

Doppelganger domains are ones that are spelled almost identically to legitimate domains, but differ slightly, such as a missing period separating a subdomain name from a primary domain name — as in the case of seibm.com as opposed to the real se.ibm.com domain that IBM uses for its division in Sweden.

Kim and colleague Garrett Gee, who released a paper this week (.pdf) discussing their research, found that 30%, or 151, of Fortune 500 companies were potentially vulnerable to having e-mail intercepted by such schemes, including top companies in consumer products, technology, banking, internet communication, media, aerospace, defense, and computer security…

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Airplane crash located off the coast of Chile – via Find My iPhone


Daylife/Reuters Pictures used by permission

Apple’s Find My iPhone feature led searchers to find a Chilean Air Force airplane that crashed and is believed to have killed 21 people.

Search and rescue teams were unable to find the airplane, which prompted one of the victims’ relatives to try locating them with the Find My iPhone functionality, which uses an iPhone’s GPS receiver to track the device’s location. According to infobae.com (via Gizmodo), the relative shared the location data with military officials in charge of the search operation.

“One of the passengers carried (an iPhone). When it fell into the sea, it was located and one of the relatives sent us that information,” the military official reportedly said.

Unfortunately the remains of the CASA 212 vehicle were found with no survivors. Parts from the destroyed plane were found floating in the sea near Tierra Banca and Playa Larga.

The plane was said to have been severely damaged by the crash, with no pieces larger than 20 inches recovered from the crash site thus far.

iPhones and iPads are built to be tough – but, not that tough. Outstanding software and hardware. Too bad the point was proven in such a sad context.

Give granny some crack! Oops – why did she fall over?


She looks better in this older mugshot – this is from 2 years ago

A 25-year-old woman was arrested for giving crack cocaine to her disabled grandmother, Pasco deputies said.

Karissa Lee Glisson…was arrested Tuesday and charged with abuse of an elderly or disabled adult. The 63-year-old grandmother “smoked the crack cocaine” at her Port Richey home Tuesday afternoon and passed out, according to a Pasco County Sheriff’s Office report.

The woman was taken to a local hospital for treatment. Glisson “admitted to providing and smoking crack cocaine with the victim, who is her grandmother,” the sheriff’s report states.

Glisson told paramedics her grandmother is disabled and suffers from “various health issues.”

Glisson…is being held at the Pasco jail in lieu of $5,000 bail. She declined to say why she gave her grandmother crack and refused to speak to deputies any further…

So much for Florida folk medicine. Surely she didn’t think crack would make her Gran less disabled?