Standing on the Shoulders of Giants – YouTube

Excellent 17 minute quick overview of the history of astronomy replete with nifty animations gleaned and used well from documentaries.  It also conveys (lightly) our understanding of where we are and just how small our place is the Universe…  (with a teeny tiny touch of irreligiousity at the end).  It should be mentioned that this is just a taste of the wonder that is Astronomy.  But if you’re someone who probably wont pursue Astronomy further, it’s a great taste.

Turn Right at Machu Picchu: Rediscovering the Lost City One Step at a Time

Turn Right at Machu Picchu: Rediscovering the Lost City One Step at a TimeTurn Right at Machu Picchu: Rediscovering the Lost City One Step at a Time by Mark Adams

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Anyone who has been to or is going to Machu Picchu should read this book. It is a well written, humorous journey around many of the most important sites from the Incan Empire following the footsteps of the man credited for it’s “rediscovery”, Hiram Bingham. You won’t get bogged down in science or history, but you may be energized (like me) to learn more. Mr. Adams writing style is similar to Bill Bryson’s and is very accessible. I thoroughly enjoyed the book.

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View from our hotel in Lima

We’re off to a good start here in Peru. Our flights went well and we arrived at 4:30 in the morning from Miami. Some cool thunderstorms were visible from the plane over Panama and Ecuador (I think).

On arrival, Mom and i went through customs in about three minutes. Funky… You’re assaulted with taxi drivers after that and our guide wasn’t there right away, but it all ended up fine. One lady went through and they forgot to stamp her passport, so she had to go back through. Can you imagine trying to get back into the customs in the US…

As far as differences, the toilets threw me a bit. You can’t put any paper in them, so it all goes in a little trash can… And you can’t drink the water, not even while brushing your teeth. Fun stuff!

In a bit we’re off to some museums and walking around town. Should be interesting.

Day 226 of the diet (I really stopped at 100)

Told y’all I was a crappy blogger.  Anyway, I kept up with the modified 4HB diet and lost a total of about 50 pounds back in May.  I found that once I had a 1 in front of my weight again, weight stopped mattering as much.  Now I hover around 198, which is fine with me.  The diet worked like a charm and I still do most days without any white carbs.  They are evil (and yummy).

Are you sick of highly paid teachers?

(I found this on Facebook, I have no idea where it originated)

Teachers’ hefty salaries are driving up taxes, and they only work 9 or10 months a year! It’s time we put things in perspective and pay them for what they do – babysit! We can get that for less than minimum wage.

That’s right. Let’s give them $3.00 an hour and only the hours they worked; not any of that silly planning time, or any time they spend before or after school. That would be $19.50 a day (7:45 to 3:00 PM with 45 min. off for lunch and plan– that equals 6 1/2 hours).

Each parent should pay $19.50 a day for these teachers to baby-sit their children. Now how many students do they teach in a day…maybe 30? So that’s $19.50 x 30 = $585.00 a day. However, remember they only work 180 days a year!!! I am not going to pay them for any vacations. LET’S SEE…. That’s $585 X 180= $105,300 per year.

What about those special education teachers and the ones with Master’s degrees? Well, we could pay them minimum wage ($7.75), and just to be fair, round it off to $8.00 an hour. That would be $8 X 6 1/2 hours X 30 children X 180 days = $280,800 per year. Wait a minute — there’s something wrong here! There sure is!

The average teacher’s salary (nation wide) is $50,000. $50,000/180 days = $277.77/per day/30 students=$9.25/6.5 hours = $1.42 per hour per student–a very inexpensive baby-sitter and they even EDUCATE your kids!) WHAT A DEAL!!!!