Exams for which pupils are expected to believe that the Loch Ness monster disproves evolution have been deemed equivalent to international A-levels by a UK government agency.
The National Recognition Information Centre (Naric) in Cheltenham, which advises universities and employers on the rigour of lesser-known qualifications, has ruled that the International Certificate of Christian Education (ICCE) is comparable to courses such as international A-levels, the Times Education Supplement has found.
Teenagers studying for the certificate, which is taught in about 50 private Christian schools in the UK, spend half their time learning from evangelical US textbooks. The curriculum is based on the Accelerated Christian Education (ACE) programme, which describes its ideology as “Christian fundamentalist”.
Jonny Scaramanga, who was a pupil at a school in Bath that used the textbooks, has complained to Naric that the books tell pupils that the Loch Ness monster “appears to be a plesiosaur” and helps to disprove evolution.
The textbooks also state that apartheid helped South Africa because segregated schools “made it possible for each group to maintain and pass on their culture and heritage to their children”.
The breakdowns of the Daily Kos/Research 2000 poll that asked 2,400 people about where they believe the president was born are revealing. As Steve Benen and Markos Moulitsas both pointed out, only in the South is there a sizable number of Americans with questions about the president’s citizenship. While around 90 percent of people in the Northeast, Midwest and West know that Obama was born in in United States, only 47 percent of people in the South believe this. Twenty-three percent think he was born somewhere else; 30 percent don’t know.
According to Del Ali of Research 2000, if you excluded those people from the poll—if you look only at white voters in the South—the number of people who doubt Obama’s citizenship is higher than the 47 percent figure that has grabbed headlines today. “There was no deviation in the number of black, Hispanic, and other voters from one region of the country to another,” Ali told TWI. In the South, like everywhere else, the vast majority of non-white voters said that Obama was born in the United States; 97 percent of black voters, 87 percent of Hispanic voters, and 88 percent of other minorities. The extremely low overall percentage? That’s due to white Southerners, who dragged down the average with an extremely high level of doubt about Obama.
Just in case you are having a rough day, here is a stress management technique recommended in all the latest psychological journals. The funny thing is that it really does work and will make you smile.
1. Picture yourself lying on your belly on a warm rock that hangs out over a crystal clear stream.
2. Picture yourself with both your hands dangling in the cool running water.
3. Birds are sweetly singing in the cool mountain air.
4. No one knows your secret place.
5. You are in total seclusion from that hectic place called the world.
6. The soothing sound of a gentle water fall fills the air with a cascade of serenity.
7. The water is so crystal clear that you can easily make out the face of the person you are holding under water.
There!! See? It really does work! You’re smiling already!!
Criminals running an ATM card-skimming scam made a big mistake this week: They tried to hit the Defcon hacker conference in Las Vegas.
As the conference was kicking off a few days ago, attendees noticed that at ATM placed in the Riviera Hotel, which plays host to the annual event, didn’t quite look right, according to a senior conference organizer who identified himself only as Priest. “They looked at the screen where there would normally be a camera,” he said. “It was a little bit too dark, so someone shined a flashlight in there and there was a PC.”
The criminals probably didn’t realize that they were installing their ATM in a hotel that was soon going to be flooded with more than 8,000 security professionals, he added.