Wednesday, 10 July 2019

Some odd beliefs (or disbeliefs) and some odd use of language.

It is 2019 and we have seen all sorts of evidence that the moon landings did in fact take place but there are apparently still people who think it was all made up. This is from an article on the subject:-

“It took 400,000 Nasa employees and contractors to put Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on the moon in 1969 – but only one man to spread the idea that it was all a hoax. His name was Bill Kaysing. It began as “a hunch, an intuition”, before turning into “a true conviction” – that the US lacked the technical prowess to make it to the moon (or, at least, to the moon and back).”

And Kaysing had actually worked for the company that helped design the rocket engines!

Here is a link to the article about our love of conspiracy theories.

The argument I like best about the impossibility of the moon landings is the one that says the nobody could have walked on the moon because it’s made of light! It’s an argument worthy of Mr Trump!

The “moon is made of light” man, Martin Kenny claimed: “In the past, you saw the moon landings and there was no way to check any of it. Now, in the age of technology, a lot of young people are now investigating for themselves.” He obviously never saw some of the science fiction TV series, such as “Lost in Space”, with really bad special effects which suggest to me, at any rate, that you couldn’t really fake the footage shot on the moon.

And yet, 21 % of 24- to 35-year-olds agreed in some kind of poll that the moon landings were staged, compared with 13% of over-55s.

Personally I am more concerned about the conspiracy to write poor English.

I came across this yesterday, supposedly written by a teacher:

“As a teacher of ethics, philosophy and religion at a Manchester comprehensive school, students often ask me why politicians allow 7% of children in this country to access exclusive schools that enable them to dominate the top professions – schools whose main entrance criteria is the size of parents’ bank accounts.”

While I appreciate and indeed agree with his point about the unfairness of private education and the advantage it gives, I find myself wincing at his opening statement, which implies that his students are “a teacher of ethics, philosophy and religion.

And besides, if those are school subjects, should they not have capital letters? Or am I just being altogether too pedantic?

He goes on to say:

“I sometimes inform my students of the latest Sutton Trust reports which highlight that 65% of senior judges, 49% of armed forces officers, 44% of newspaper columnists and 29% of MPs are all privately educated. Being a good teacher, I integrate maths into my subject and get them to work out the extent to which private school students are disproportionately represented in these professions.”

Ten out of ten for integrating Maths into his subject but how about integrating some English as well. Some senior person at a school I worked at once told me we are all English teachers. But maybe not teachers of Ethics and Religion!

A friend of mine sent me news about a student at the college we both used to work at. He felt that the headline was a little misleading:-  “College student goes to Harvard.”

In fact she is going to spend a week at Harvard as part of a programme designed to encourage UK students to apply to prestigious US universities. Young Hannah has just finished her first year at sixth form college and will fly out to Boston, USA, at the end of July, all expenses paid! Lucky girl!

At college here in the UK she is studying A-Level Law, Geography and Sociology as well as Vocational Criminology. I assume the last subject is part of the programme of vocational qualification available in a wide range of areas but somehow Vocational Criminology sounds to me a little like training to be a criminal.

 Or am I once again being too picky!

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