William Katz:  Urgent Agenda

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SHORT TAKES ON THE DRIFTING WRECKAGE:

HOW TO SEND MONEY DOWN THE DRAIN – OVERNIGHT:   Does anyone ever ask how our education dollars are actually spent?  I guess not.  From College Fix:  Deconstructing whiteness in an introductory physics classroom may seem like a nonsensical goal, but according to a pair of critical whiteness scholars from Seattle Pacific University, this endeavor is actually an important step toward the larger undertaking of freeing students and professors alike from the weighty fetters of whiteness.  Funded through a $495,847 National Science Foundation grant, researchers Amy Robertson and W. Tali Hairston aim “to develop a knowledge base that could lead to awareness of how power relations may be embedded in the way physics is taught and learned.”  The two record introductory physics classes and interview participants, then analyze them using a critical whiteness theory lens “to show how privilege operates in undergraduate physics teaching and learning.”  In one study funded through the grant, Robertson and a colleague from SPU examined the demographic characteristics of students in introductory physics classes at six universities to see which groups were over- or underrepresented.  I'm sure our Chinese competitors are looking at this with considerable amusement.  In China the purpose of physics classes is the teaching of physics.

OH DEAR, OH DEAR, IS HE BECOMING A NUT CASE, TOO? – OVERNIGHT:   As readers know, we spend some time here examining the adventures of the mayor of New York because that office is highly influential among American cities.   Our new mayor, Eric Adams, seems to be missing a few things, maybe marbles.  From the New York Post:   Call it geode politics.  Mayor Eric Adams said that crystals give New York City a “special energy” that’s unique to the five boroughs.  The former officer — and gem-tleman — even wears multi-colored healing gems on his right wrist like that of the Marvel villain Thanos. Adams has gotten so into the New Age fad that local blog Hell Gate NYC has dubbed him “NYC’s first Crystals Guy mayor.”  Pricey crystals are popular among celebrities such as Adele and Spencer Pratt and even some Wall Street collectors, who swear by their “healing” properties.  Speaking to Politico in the spring, Adams said he discovered that NYC’s iconic bedrock is comprised of unique gems and minerals and that “there’s a special energy that comes from here.”  The Rock Center Adams is apparently referring to is the geological layer known as the Manhattan Schist, outcroppings of which can actually be seen in areas such as Central Park, as well as in the basement of Grand Central Terminal.  It contains more than 100 minerals — including quartz, kyanite and dumortierite — and was formed roughly 450 million years ago.  A New York based crystal expert told the Guardian that the mayor — who recently declared that a “vibe shift” is happening in NYC — also, appears to wear several types of quartz on his wrist.  We wonder what effect all this has on the soaring crime rate.  We hope the mayor wonders too. 

June 9-10, 2022